Thursday, September 25, 2014

Daily Bread // Focaccia

Oh bread.

I have this love/hate relationship with it. It's just so magical and delicious, but I try to eat sparingly because... you know. As much as I like it, it doesn't like me very much. But, all that said, sometimes you've just gotta have some bread!

Today's bread recipe is a focaccia! One of my favorites!

If you have never made a bread before, I definitely recommend this one. Fear not! Bread is much easier to make than it seems! It's just all science! So, onto the recipe!

-The run down-

-Mixing time: 15 minutes
-Rise time: 2 1/2 hours
-Bake time: 20-25 minutes
-Best eaten the day of baking. 
-Difficulty level: Beginner
-Baked at: 375° F


For the bread:
-3 1/2 cups bread flour (Make sure to sift it! It really makes such a huge difference in texture)
-1 2/3 cups warm water
-1 tbsp active dry yeast
-1 1/2 tsp sea salt (Not pictured because I totally forgot about it until I started mixing everything. Ugh...)

Olive Oil Rub:
-1/4 cup olive oil
-4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
-2 sprigs fresh rosemary (roughly chopped)
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper

After making this I realized how delicious it would be if you popped some asiago or parmesean on top. So if you are a cheese lover, go for it! (And let me know how it is!) 

Okay, onto the directions! 

*Disclaimer, this is possible without an electric mixer, but it will be more difficult, so if you have one use it! If not, scrub your hands really well and prepare for some kneading! 

**Also, if you are using an electric mixer like I did, you're going to want your dough hook attachment. It makes it a whole heck of a lot easier to pull off once you are ready to let it rise.)

-Pop your warm water into your mixing bowl and add your yeast. Stir to dissolve. 

-Add your flour and salt and mix on a low speed until all of your ingredients get well acquainted with one another. (I did mine for about a minute and a half.) 

-Pop that sucker up to medium speed for 5 minutes. By the end of it the dough should be shiny and elastic. 

-Unplug your mixer so you don't have any accidents and pull your dough off the hook. Leave in the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Now the hard part, waiting! Let the dough rise in a warm place for two hours or until it has puffed to twice the original size.

Now is the perfect time to watch a movie, run some errands, etc.

-Preheat your oven to 375° F Grease a cookie sheet with more olive oil and prepared a floured surface. I used a cutting board, but if you want to clean your counters really well you can use that too. Shape the dough into a rectangle smaller than your baking sheet. Now, if you are like me and tend to like rustic looking breads anyway you don't have to be super precise with your shaping, but if you want it perfect, by all means, shape away! 

-Transfer your dough to your baking sheet and use your hands to push the bread out a little more towards the corners of your pan. Now take your fingertips and mark the tops of the bread with small indentations. 

-Mix your olive oil rub together and brush on top of the dough.

-Leave your dough to rise another 30 minutes. We have an electric range with a glass top so I just let it sit on there while the oven heated it up. It will puff to about twice it's size again. 

-Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy to the touch. It took the full 25 in my oven because it was a colder more humid day, but just keep an eye on it. You'll know when it's done! I also suggest pulling it out of the oven when you check for color. I've noticed a lot of times because of the bulbs in the oven you can't properly judge the color when it is still in. 

-Drizzle lightly with olive oil (MORE?? I know, I know...) and let sit for a few minutes. Take this time to text your friends and family photos of it to make them jealous. 

This bread is awesome to pair with marinara sauce or a balsamic vinaigrette. (Of if you want more oil, crack some pepper and salt into a plate with some herbs of your choice and pour some oil on top. Yum!) 

The finished product:
(Feel free to listen to some 70s funk as you scroll down.)

Yeaaaaaah, just look at that golden deliciousness.

Seriously this bread is delicious. It's a magical blend of crispy and soft that is just perfect. If you feel like mixing things up a bit feel free to change up spices (Za'atar would be great on this) or add more things (fennel, cheese, etc). Also, if you want to get REAL fancy, this would make an excellent pizza crust. (And croutons!)

Like I said, if you are a "bread"ginner this is a great choice for you! It doesn't have too many ingredients or take 5 hours to rise (hello ciabatta...) and it looks super impressive for dinner parties. This makes a whole lot of bread too, so you can either keep it all for yourself,(I normally recommend a 3-5 day shelf life depending on how good you are at keeping it air tight so it doesn't go stale.) or you could give some to someone special!

I know we are planning on chopping this in threes and giving most of it to our parents.

Happy munching! 
Ashe + Aric


  1. Looks so delicious. I'll definitely have to bake this. Thanks for the recipe!