Easy Bread Baking – Focaccia


“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…” – M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

Focaccia Focaccia Focaccia Focaccia Focaccia

Flour Focaccia

[recipe from Flour, Too]

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
small handful of cornmeal

Using a stand mixer, combine the water and yeast. Let it sit for 20 to 30 seconds, allowing the yeast to dissolve. Pour in the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, and salt into the water. Turn the mixer on low speed and mix until the flour is mixed into the liquid. While the dough is still shaggy, drizzle in the olive oil. Keeping the mixer on low speed, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. It should be somewhat sticky, but still smooth with an elastic texture. If it is much stiffer, add 1-2 tablespoons of water; if it is much looser, add in 2-3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. 

Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and put in a warm area for 2-3 hours (78°-82°F is perfect). Let it rise until it is about double.

While the dough is rising, prepare a baking sheet by sprinkling it with the cornmeal. 

When the dough has risen, liberally flour your hands and a clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and press it into an 8-inch square. Fold the top edge of the square to the center of the dough. Fold the bottom edge of to the center and press the seam together firmly. Fold the right side over to the center and then the left side to the center, again pressing the seam together firmly. Turn the dough over, seam-side down. Shape the dough with a tucking motion so that it is about 6 inches square. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and generously flour the top of the dough. Cover it loosely with a piece of plastic wrap and place it in a warm area for another hour, until the dough rises a bit. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. When the dough has risen, remove the plastic. Using all of your fingers, press and poke the dough along the length of it. Stretch it into an almost-square log that is about 10 inches long, 8 inches wide, and about 2 inches tall. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until it is golden brown on the top and the bottom. Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. The focaccia will keep in a closed paper bag at room temperature for about 3 days or wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap in the freezer for up to two weeks. 


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