Rosemary-Garlic Focaccia Bread

Making bread can seem like a daunting task.  I know, I’ve been there.  But I’ve been working on this focaccia recipe for a looong time and I’ve streamlined it and made it as easy and foolproof as bread can be.  As long as you read through and then follow the directions, you should be more than fine!  Every step has been thought through to give you the fluffiest, most flavorful, and easy to make focaccia ever.  From mixing to eating, it shouldn’t take more than 3 hours and, for most of that time, you’ll be reading, watching TV, or snuggling the dog/cat/kids.  

As an alternative, I’m also including instructions for doubling this recipe and baking it in a 13X9 pan. Because sometimes you need more bread. A lot of the time you need more bread 😉  Now quit loafing around! Let’s make bread!

 1 1/4 Cup warm water (110°-120° is best)
 1 tsp Honey
 1 tsp + 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
 6 tbsp Olive oil (will be divided into 2 tbs portions during different steps of the recipe)
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra if the dough is too wet and extra for flouring the counter)
 2 1/2 tsp salt (this will also be divided in the recipe, 2 tsp in the dough and 1/2 tsp in the mixture we’ll make for the top of the bread)
 3 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
 2 Cloves of garlic, 2 to make the infused oil (you’ll see) and 1 for the mixture in top. Fun!

1

Place 2 sprigs of rosemary and 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a small bowl. Warm olive oil in the microwave for 45 seconds and pour over the garlic and rosemary. Allow to sit until the oil is cooled or overnight. This will infuse the focaccia with the flavors of rosemary and garlic in every bite! When you’re ready to begin making bread, just remove the rosemary and garlic.

2

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of this delicious oil with one half teaspoon of salt, one small grated clove of garlic, and one sprig of rosemary leaves, minced finely (about 1 tablespoon). Set aside.

3

Place water in the bowl of your stand mixer, along with the teaspoon of honey. The honey is the delicious lunch you brought for your yeast buddies 😋 Add the yeast and stir gently. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the surface looks nice and foamy (this is called “proofing” your yeast.) If your yeast does not foam, it could be that your water temperature was too low (it won’t wake the yeast up) or too high (😬 sorry, you killed them). It could also be that your yeast is too old. Verify the temperature of the water is within the range of 110°-120° and try again. You got this!

yeast

4

While the yeast are eating lunch, grab another bowl and measure out your flour and salt and whisk them together well. Add 2 tablespoons of your flavored oil to the frothy yeast. With the mixer on low, and using the paddle attachment, add your flour into the liquid, one large spoonful at a time. You might give it a little help with a rubber spatula to make sure the flour at the bottom of the bowl gets in on the action. Once all the flour is incorporated, switch over to your dough hook and knead the dough on medium for 4 minutes. Stop and look inside. The dough should be clearing the sides of the bowl, but still be sticking to the bottom. If it seems too sticky and is still clinging to the sides, dust another tablespoon of flour over the top. Continue kneading on medium for another 3 minutes.

Remove the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead by hand just to smooth the surface and get it shaped into a ball.

pizza dough

5

Transfer your dough to a bowl that has been coated with a few teaspoons of olive oil (just regular olive oil, not our flavored oil). Roll the dough in the oil to coat it all over and cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with a little non-stick spray. Now we're going to allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm spot in your kitchen. The easiest way to do this is, while you're preparing your dough, preheat your oven to 200°. After you have the dough covered, place it on top of your stove and the heat rising from the oven will encourage your dough to rise.

6

If you don’t want to knead your dough, and you have some patience, you can just add the proofed yeast to your other ingredients and stir well with a spatula until all the flour is mixed in. The dough will look shaggy and kind of rough, but that’s okay. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, flop it around to get all the surfaces oily, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least 8 hours and up to one day. You can also leave it to rise in a warm spot for 3-4 hours, until doubled in size.

7

After 30 minutes, your dough should have risen to almost double the original size. If not, let it go a little longer, up to an hour. Now we’re going to fold the dough, which is a different technique from the usual “punching down” that I use when making bread or pizza dough. In punching down dough, you are releasing most of the carbon dioxide that the yeast has released in the rise. When folding the dough, the same thing happens, but you are also strengthening the dough by realigning the gluten strands, and you’re creating the air pockets and holes that are traditionally found in the crumb of a focaccia. All this leads to a more tender and airy bread. Yay!

So, starting at the twelve o’clock 🕛 position, grab the edge of the dough, pull it toward the center, and lightly press it into the rest of the dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and do it again, and continue until you’ve done four folds, all the way around the dough. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes.

8

Grease the sides and bottom of a 10 inch cast iron pan with 2 tablespoons of the flavored oil. Transfer your dough to the skillet, folded side down. Cover with plastic and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

If doubling the recipe, grease a 13X9 pan, place your dough in the pan, cover and allow to rise.

While the focaccia makes its final rise, preheat your oven to 450° and place the rack in center of the oven.

9

Using a fork, poke all over the surface of the dough, about 20 times. This is another way we’re ensuring lots of nice air pockets in our bread! Using your fingertips, press deeply into the top of the dough, to make the traditional dents found on the surface of focaccia. Pretend you’re playing the focaccia piano 🎶

10

Using your hands, spread the rosemary garlic olive oil all over the surface of the dough. Allow to rest for 10 minutes (we’ve messed with it a lot in the last few minutes. Give it a chance to calm down and accept its fate).

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the top with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with the last half tsp of salt, if desired (it will be perfectly delicious as is, but I just love salt. Do what you feel.)

11

Allow to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and enjoy! It’s perfect dipped in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sliced in half for a delicious sandwich, or served alongside my Italian sausage and veggie soup!

This is the best focaccia I’ve ever made and it is consistently amazing! Give it a try and let me know how it went 👍🏻

Ingredients

 1 1/4 Cup warm water (110°-120° is best)
 1 tsp Honey
 1 tsp + 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
 6 tbsp Olive oil (will be divided into 2 tbs portions during different steps of the recipe)
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra if the dough is too wet and extra for flouring the counter)
 2 1/2 tsp salt (this will also be divided in the recipe, 2 tsp in the dough and 1/2 tsp in the mixture we’ll make for the top of the bread)
 3 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
 2 Cloves of garlic, 2 to make the infused oil (you’ll see) and 1 for the mixture in top. Fun!

Directions

1

Place 2 sprigs of rosemary and 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a small bowl. Warm olive oil in the microwave for 45 seconds and pour over the garlic and rosemary. Allow to sit until the oil is cooled or overnight. This will infuse the focaccia with the flavors of rosemary and garlic in every bite! When you’re ready to begin making bread, just remove the rosemary and garlic.

2

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of this delicious oil with one half teaspoon of salt, one small grated clove of garlic, and one sprig of rosemary leaves, minced finely (about 1 tablespoon). Set aside.

3

Place water in the bowl of your stand mixer, along with the teaspoon of honey. The honey is the delicious lunch you brought for your yeast buddies 😋 Add the yeast and stir gently. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the surface looks nice and foamy (this is called “proofing” your yeast.) If your yeast does not foam, it could be that your water temperature was too low (it won’t wake the yeast up) or too high (😬 sorry, you killed them). It could also be that your yeast is too old. Verify the temperature of the water is within the range of 110°-120° and try again. You got this!

yeast

4

While the yeast are eating lunch, grab another bowl and measure out your flour and salt and whisk them together well. Add 2 tablespoons of your flavored oil to the frothy yeast. With the mixer on low, and using the paddle attachment, add your flour into the liquid, one large spoonful at a time. You might give it a little help with a rubber spatula to make sure the flour at the bottom of the bowl gets in on the action. Once all the flour is incorporated, switch over to your dough hook and knead the dough on medium for 4 minutes. Stop and look inside. The dough should be clearing the sides of the bowl, but still be sticking to the bottom. If it seems too sticky and is still clinging to the sides, dust another tablespoon of flour over the top. Continue kneading on medium for another 3 minutes.

Remove the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead by hand just to smooth the surface and get it shaped into a ball.

pizza dough

5

Transfer your dough to a bowl that has been coated with a few teaspoons of olive oil (just regular olive oil, not our flavored oil). Roll the dough in the oil to coat it all over and cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap that has been sprayed with a little non-stick spray. Now we're going to allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm spot in your kitchen. The easiest way to do this is, while you're preparing your dough, preheat your oven to 200°. After you have the dough covered, place it on top of your stove and the heat rising from the oven will encourage your dough to rise.

6

If you don’t want to knead your dough, and you have some patience, you can just add the proofed yeast to your other ingredients and stir well with a spatula until all the flour is mixed in. The dough will look shaggy and kind of rough, but that’s okay. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, flop it around to get all the surfaces oily, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least 8 hours and up to one day. You can also leave it to rise in a warm spot for 3-4 hours, until doubled in size.

7

After 30 minutes, your dough should have risen to almost double the original size. If not, let it go a little longer, up to an hour. Now we’re going to fold the dough, which is a different technique from the usual “punching down” that I use when making bread or pizza dough. In punching down dough, you are releasing most of the carbon dioxide that the yeast has released in the rise. When folding the dough, the same thing happens, but you are also strengthening the dough by realigning the gluten strands, and you’re creating the air pockets and holes that are traditionally found in the crumb of a focaccia. All this leads to a more tender and airy bread. Yay!

So, starting at the twelve o’clock 🕛 position, grab the edge of the dough, pull it toward the center, and lightly press it into the rest of the dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and do it again, and continue until you’ve done four folds, all the way around the dough. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes.

8

Grease the sides and bottom of a 10 inch cast iron pan with 2 tablespoons of the flavored oil. Transfer your dough to the skillet, folded side down. Cover with plastic and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

If doubling the recipe, grease a 13X9 pan, place your dough in the pan, cover and allow to rise.

While the focaccia makes its final rise, preheat your oven to 450° and place the rack in center of the oven.

9

Using a fork, poke all over the surface of the dough, about 20 times. This is another way we’re ensuring lots of nice air pockets in our bread! Using your fingertips, press deeply into the top of the dough, to make the traditional dents found on the surface of focaccia. Pretend you’re playing the focaccia piano 🎶

10

Using your hands, spread the rosemary garlic olive oil all over the surface of the dough. Allow to rest for 10 minutes (we’ve messed with it a lot in the last few minutes. Give it a chance to calm down and accept its fate).

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the top with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with the last half tsp of salt, if desired (it will be perfectly delicious as is, but I just love salt. Do what you feel.)

11

Allow to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and enjoy! It’s perfect dipped in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sliced in half for a delicious sandwich, or served alongside my Italian sausage and veggie soup!

This is the best focaccia I’ve ever made and it is consistently amazing! Give it a try and let me know how it went 👍🏻

Rosemary-Garlic Focaccia Bread

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