Focaccia Bread

This recipe is fool proof!  Such a fun spin on typical dinner roll sat your next holiday gathering!  You can add any of your favorite ingredients into the dough or on top like caramelized onion, kalamata olives, sliced tomatoes, and of course, cheese!  It is adapted from Food Network’s Chef Anne Burrell’s Focaccia bread recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 package active dry yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and let sit until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Once bubbly, add the flour, salt, sugar and 1/2 cup olive oil.  Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.  Increase speed to medium and continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft. Give it a sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead it by hand 1 or 2 times. Again, give it another sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky.
  4. Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. Coat a jelly roll pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.
  6. Put the dough onto the jelly roll pan and begin pressing it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes through the dough.
  7. Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to Bake mode 425° or Convection Bake mode 400°.
  8. Liberally sprinkle the top of the focaccia with some coarse sea salt and lightly drizzle a little oil on top. Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.