focaccia41Tuesdays will be the day I test recipes.   Originally I was going to call it cookbook Tuesday until I realize my first recipe comes from the internet and not a cookbook….so Test Kitchen Tuedays it is!  I have always wanted to try to make focaccia.  Something about a bread that I can top with basically anything fascinated me.  The first recipe I was going to try was from Martha’s Baking handbook.  I was a little turned off by the large scale of the recipe and also “bread flour”.  Now..people even though I love baking I wasn’t familiar with this ingredient so I googled it.  Upon learning what it was I decided to skip the recipe all together because I was pretty sure somewhere across the globe somebody was making a damn good focaccia with out “bread flour”.   I turned to the next best thing ..  I decided for the first time I would try the simpliest recipe I found and got ready for a new challenge.  I was pleased with the results.  It was chewy and crisp on the outside and easy enough not to be intimidating.  I did do some adjustments and added thyme to the recipe.  Those of you who are afraid of making bread this is a great first recipe.

Easiest Focaccia Bread

makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) plus 1/4 cup water

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

enough thyme to sprinkle across the top

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in 1/3 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flour; stir well to combine. Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into a sheet and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the dough with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake focaccia in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness. If you like it moist and fluffy, then you’ll have to wait just about 10 minutes. If you like it crunchier and darker in the outside, you may have to wait 20 minutes.