Monday, September 2, 2013

Eat This: Herbed Focaccia

This summer we used a lot of the herbs we grow in the back yard.  Basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, German thyme, chives, mint and oregano.  I wanted some focaccia to use to make our favorite "Caprese sandwich" using more of the nice basil we have as well as some delicious tomatoes from the farmer's market.

I used an old tried and true quick focaccia recipe.  It turns out really well and doesn't take forever.  Quick and easy, almost fool proof try this and use anything you want to include as an add on.

Sometimes, sun dried tomatoes and oil cured olives are the topping.  Today a quick process of basil and olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan and sea salt flakes.  Delicious.  Here's how we do it:


1/3 Cup warm (110-115 degree water)
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 Packet instant rise yeast
2 Cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup chopped herbs
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon flaky seal salt or other finishing salt

Mix the water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and cover. Let bloom for ten minutes.

Mix some basil (as much as you like) and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a small mini-food processor and make a rough "pesto-like" mixture for topping.

Mix the dry ingredients well in a large bowl.  add the yeast mixture and combine. Add additional water until it comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead in the herbs.  Four or five turns.  

This time I oiled and dusted the 9" round cake pan with parmesan cheese to impart a little cheesy flavor to the crust.

Once spread out, dimple the top.  Spread the olive oil and basil mixture on top and sprinkle with the seal salt. I also like a sprinkle of black pepper too!

Bake for 15 minutes for a medium crunch exterior, less if you like it softer.

You may get a higher, fluffier focaccia by letting it rise a second time in a warm oven before baking.

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