,,One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. ,,
-Laurie Colwin

Sunday, May 23, 2010


There is nothing like freshly baked bread and focaccia is one of the easiest bread you can bake from scratch. Is a simple bread to make at home and is related to pizza, but not considered to be the same. The flavor of the oil is important, so it's advisable to use a good, strong, fruity virgin olive oil for this. Extremely easy and great for sandwiches and snacks. A wonderful, quick alternative to garlic bread. Is a flat Italian bread traditionally flavored with olive oil and salt and often topped with herbs, onions, tomato, olives or other flavor can be added to your wish . This recipe is for traditional way but you can make the dough in the bread machine too and bake in the oven. It's practically a meal in itself, perfect for picnics with salad or serve a big chunk with a bowl of soup.
This Italian flat bread is prepared from a soft dough enriched with olive oil. Extra olive oil is traditionally sprinkled over the dough in generous quantities before baking. Focaccia makes an ideal accompaniment to Italian meats to create a wonderfully antipasto plate with cheeses and salads.
It will take some time (about 3 hours), but much of the time is waiting for the dough to rise, so you can do something else in between.
1 packet dry yeast 12 gr or fresh yeast cube 50 gr
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon salt (~12 gr)
650 ml warm water
1 kg bread flour
2-3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary or 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, finely chopped.
200-250 ml good fruity olive oil
50 gr grated Parmesan cheese
250 gr cherry tomatoes
1 Tablespoon sea salt
Mix the yeast and 100 ml of warm water together in a jug, add the sugar, 50 ml olive oil and about 2 tablespoon of the flour.
Put the yeast mixture somewhere warm to activate for about 10 min, or until the yeast mixture is fizzing gently. Sift the flour into a big clean bowl and make a hole in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and knead it energetically into the flour and add salt and little by little of the remaining water and knead for about 10 min. The dough should be soft and sticky on the hands. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about 1 h or until double in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 degree C. Put some of the olive oil into tray and with well-oiled hands shape your dough. Now it's ready for topping. Force dips in the surface of the focaccia with your fingertips, then generously add cherry tomatoes, rest of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, sea salt and then leave to puff up again for about 30 min-1 h or double in size. Bake for about 30 to 45 min or until the top is golden and crisp and look well cooked in the center. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

For variation you can stuff the focaccia with grated cheese or ham to create a nice sandwich
Here is one made with slices of fresh tomatoes and olives and one with mozzarella cheese and red bell peppers.
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