Monday, February 11, 2013

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread


Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread which maybe topped with any kind of herbs that you like. Its like a herb flavored bread - an olive oil based one, its cheese-free and also guilt-free ;). I had bookmarked this recipe almost a year back, every-time I would want to do a pizza or any flat-bread, my plans got postponed, something or the other came up. Looks like the time for the focaccia to happen came last weekend.

We had this super delicious garlic-rosemary focaccia with tomato soup for our Sunday lunch. Its a really easy one to make, but its time consuming because it has a resting time of 2 hrs in total. This would definitely be one of my top choices to make when guests visit home and you want them to be super impressed :). You could easily serve this up as an appetizer along with a tasty dip, just get all the prep-work done and before you have your party arriving, push them into the oven for 15 minutes and they would be ready to get into their belly.


Ingredients

 Serves - makes about 10 medium sized slices
 Prep Time - 2.5 hrs
 Bake time - 15 min

Recipe Source - Laura Vitale

All Purpose Flour - 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups
Sugar - 2 Tbsp
Active Dry yeast - 2 1/4 tsp
Warm water - 1 cup
Salt - 2 Tsp dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Garlic cloves - 4
Dry/Fresh Rosemary - 1Tbsp
EV olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper for seasoning on top of the flat-bread

How do you do it

1. Take a large bowl and add in the sugar, yeast and warm water. Let it stand for 3-5 minutes until it froths. This means that the yeast has been activated.

2. Give it a stir with your spatula and add in 3 cups of flour at first along with 1/4 cup olive oil and the salt-water mix.

3. Mix well with your spatula and then use your hand and knead for 10-15 minutes until it forms a smooth elastic dough. This is the time when you can add the extra 1/2 cup flour little by little to get a non-sticky smooth dough. I needed only a little more than 3 1/4 cups of flour in total, so just add as much needed to get a non sticky dough. Use your kitchen counter surface to press and bring the dough together with the heel of your palm. Below is a picture of the dough before doubling.




4. Put the dough back to the bowl. Add about a tbsp of olive oil and wrap the entire dough with olive oil. Cover with a cling film. Leave it to rest in a warm place for about 1.5 hr until the dough doubles.

5. Meanwhile,  prepare a big rectangular baking sheet pan with some olive oil smeared on its surface. Once the dough doubles, move it to the baking sheet and spread into a rectangle [taking the shape of the pan] with your hand, about 1/2 inch thick. This is very easy and since the dough is so elastic and soft, it will spread easily. It should be of even thickness all over.

6. Cover this sheet with cling film and rest it for 20 minutes. Now lets prepare the garlic spread, grate the garlic into a bowl, add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil, mix well and keep ready. Also Pre-heat oven to 400 deg F at this stage.

7. Remove the cling film and keep aside. Drizzle some olive oil on top and spread evenly. Spread the garlic-olive oil mix on the surface of the flattened dough. Sprinkle rosemary all over along with salt and pepper. Cover again with cling film and rest for 30 minutes. A picture of the flattened dough all ready to go into the oven.




8. After 30 minutes, bake on the bottom rack for 15-17 minutes or until its golden brown. I coundn t resist the temptation and I took a bite of the bread before clicking :)



Serve this really flavorful focaccia with a soup or a dip of your favorite choice.

2 Yummmm:

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj February 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM  

very appealing to me... must be tasty...

radha February 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM  

We bought this at a farmers market. Looked like this. Tasted good as I am sure this did too. Bookmarking

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