Makes 8 servings
- 1 ⅓ cup warm water (about 110°F)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 (0.25 ounce) package active-dry yeast
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon salt
Infused Olive Oil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 sprig fresh tarragon, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon flaky salt, for finishing
Making fresh, homemade focaccia bread is much easier than you might think! Using only a few simple ingredients, you can make a flavorful bread perfect for dipping in sauces or as a side to your favorite Italian dishes. This recipe uses a sheet pan to create a large, wide loaf of focaccia, making it easily shareable. After mastering the basics, you can take your focaccia up a notch by adding vegetables and more to the top.
1. First, proof the yeast. Add warm water (about 110°F) and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough attachment, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and give the yeast a quick stir to mix it in with the water. Let it sit for 5-10 minute until the yeast is foamy.
2. Set the mixer to low speed, and alternately and gradually add the flour, ¼ cup olive oil and salt. Increase speed to medium-low, and continue mixing the dough for 5 minutes.
3. Remove dough from the mixing bowl, and use your hands to shape it into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl (or a separate bowl) with olive oil and place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Place in a warm location and let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes, or until it has nearly doubled in size.
4. After it has risen, gently punch the middle of the dough before turning it onto a well floured surface. Roll it out into a large rectangle until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick.
5. Transfer the dough to a large, well oiled baking sheet. Make sure to use a thin sheet as double insulated and other thicker sheets will prevent the bottom of the dough from browning. Cover the dough with the damp towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
7. While the dough is doing its second rise, heat ¼ cup of olive oil over very low heat in a small saucepan. Add garlic and herbs and mix, turning the heat lower if garlic begins to brown. Heat on low for 10 minutes to infuse the olive oil with the flavors of the garlic and herbs.
8. Once the bread has risen for 20 minutes, uncover and use your fingers to gently poke deep dents all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle the olive oil mix evenly all over the top of the dough, making sure to cover the entire surface with olive oil.
9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the dough is lightly golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with flaky salt. Slice, and serve warm.