Transport yourself to the rustic kitchens of Italy with our mouthwatering Focaccia Bread recipe. This traditional Italian flatbread is beloved for its soft, pillowy texture and irresistible flavor. Whether served as an appetizer, snack, or side dish, Focaccia Bread is sure to delight your taste buds and impress your guests.

Ingredients for Delicious Focaccia Bread:

  • For the dough:
    • All-purpose flour
    • Active dry yeast
    • Warm water
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • Sugar
  • For the topping:
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Fresh rosemary leaves
    • Coarse sea salt

Preparing Delicious Focaccia Bread:

  1. Activating the yeast:
    • In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. Making the dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the activated yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour mixture, stirring until a shaggy dough forms.
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  3. Shaping the bread:
    • Once the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Press the dough evenly into the pan, using your fingertips to create dimples across the surface.
  4. Topping the bread:
    • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the surface of the dough, ensuring it fills the dimples. Sprinkle fresh rosemary leaves and coarse sea salt evenly over the top.
  5. Baking the Focaccia:
    • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes while the oven preheats.
    • Bake the Focaccia in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Variations and Additions:

  • Cheese: Sprinkle grated Parmesan, Pecorino, or Asiago cheese over the top of the Focaccia before baking for added richness and flavor.
  • Olives: Press pitted olives into the dough before baking for a briny burst of flavor.
  • Garlic: Mix minced garlic with the olive oil before drizzling it over the dough for a fragrant and savory touch.

Tips for Perfect Focaccia Bread:

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Opt for extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, and coarse sea salt for the best flavor.
  • Don’t over-knead the dough: Stop kneading once the dough is smooth and elastic to avoid a tough texture in the finished bread.
  • Let it rest: Allow the dough to rest and rise properly for soft and fluffy Focaccia.

Serving Suggestions:

Our Delicious Focaccia Bread is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways:

  • Appetizer: Serve warm slices of Focaccia with a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.
  • Sandwiches: Use Focaccia as a base for gourmet sandwiches filled with cheese, cured meats, and fresh vegetables.
  • Soup or salad accompaniment: Pair Focaccia with your favorite soup or salad for a satisfying meal.

Health Benefits of Focaccia Bread:

While Focaccia Bread is considered a treat, it does offer some nutritional benefits:

  • Olive oil: Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil provides beneficial nutrients.
  • Whole grain option: Substitute part or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for added fiber and nutrients.

FAQs about Focaccia Bread:

  • Can I make Focaccia ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the dough in advance and refrigerate it overnight. Let it come to room temperature before shaping, topping, and baking.

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