How to Make Rosemary Focaccia Bread

  • on 31 March 2020
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1 Proof the yeast: Stir the yeast into the 1/3 cup of slightly warm-to-the-touch water and let it rest for 10 minutes.

2 Add olive oil to water, then add yeast: In a large bowl, pour in 2 1/4 cups of tepid water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. After the yeast has rested for 10 minutes and has begun to froth, pour it into the water-oil mixture.

Dissolve the yeast for focaccia breadAdd the yeast to the oil and water for focaccia bread

3 Add flour and rosemary: Whisk in 2 cups of flour (either the bread flour or the all purpose, at this stage it doesn’t matter which) and the tablespoon of salt. Add the rosemary.

Cup by cup, whisk in the rest of the flour (both the bread flour and all-purpose). As the mixture goes from a batter to a thick dough, you’ll want to switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon.

Add some of the flour to the yeast for the focaccia breadAdd the rosemary for focaccia bread to the batterAdd the flour for rosemary focaccia a little at a timeMix the dough for focaccia bread in the bowl until you've added all the flour

4 Knead the dough: By the time you get to adding the last cup of flour, you will be able to work the dough with your hands. Begin to knead it in the bowl – try to incorporate all the flour stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl as you begin kneading.

Once the bowl is pretty clean, turn the dough out onto a board and knead it well for 8 minutes. You might need some extra flour if the dough is sticky.

Note that a KitchenAid mixer (or some other brand of upright electric mixer) works well for the mixing and kneading of the bread dough. About the time you add the last cup of flour you’ll want to switch from the standard mixer attachment to the dough hook attachment.

Just knead the dough using the dough hook on low speed for 8 minutes. If after a few minutes the dough is still a little sticky, add a little sprinkling of flour to it.

Knead the dough for focaccia bread until smooth and slightly tackyA ball of dough for focaccia bread, smooth and ready for the first rise

5 First rise: In a large clean bowl, pour in about a tablespoon of oil and put the dough on top of it. Spread the oil all over the dough.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise (in a relatively warm spot or at room temp) for an hour and a half. It should just about double in size.

Dough for rosemary focaccia in a bowl for the first riseDough for focaccia bread after rising and doubled in bulk

6 Spread dough in baking pan: Spread a little olive oil in your baking pan or baking sheet (will make it easier to remove the bread). Place the dough in your baking pans or form it into free-form rounds on a baking sheet.

This recipe will make two nice-sized loaves or one big one and a little one. Cover the breads and set aside for another 30 minutes.

Pat the dough for focaccia bread into the pan

7 Dimple the bread: Dimple the breads with your thumb. Push in to about the end of your thumbnail, roughly 1/2-inch.

Dimple the top of the focaccia dough in the pan with your thumb

8 Second rise: Cover the dough again and leave it to rise for its final rise, about 2 hours.

9 Preheat oven: With 30 minutes to go before the rise finishes, preheat your oven to 400°F. If you have a pizza stone put it in.

10 Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt: Once the dough has done its final rise, gently paint the top with olive oil — as much as you want.

Then sprinkle the coarse salt on top from about a foot over the bread; this lets the salt spread out better on its way down and helps reduce clumps of salt.

11 Bake: Put the bread in the oven. If you are doing free-form breads, put it right on the pizza stone. Bake at 400°F for a total of 20-25 minutes.

If you have a water spritzer bottle, spritz a little water in the oven right before you put the bread in to create steam, and then a couple of times while the bread is baking.

Baked focaccia bread still in the panEasy rosemary focaccia dimpled on top and cooling on a rack

12 Cool and serve: When the bread comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a rack within 3-5 minutes; this way you’ll keep the bottom of the bread crispy. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before eating.


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