Hello bread lovers! Did you know it’s super easy to make your own crispy at the edges and fluffy in the middle focaccia? It’s true! When I was flipping through my culinary camp binder (yes, I went to a cooking school camp for grown ups), I came upon a herb focaccia recipe that we never actually got to make in class. I’m a huge fan of all the fancy breads in a typical bread basket, so it was time to try my hand at focaccia! Basically, it’s a simple yeast dough that’s been flattened out, dimpled, and topped with herbs and whatever else your heart desires. For me, rosemary and black pepper were speaking to me, partly because I killed all the fresh herbs outside, whoops. But, it also had a really hearty and fall-like taste to it, perfect for pairing with soup (soup weather, I love it!) or spreading with butter and eating alone, like I did right after I took these pictures.
The list of ingredients here is short, but there are a few things to remember. First off, yeast, make sure it’s fresh! You don’t want to go to all the trouble of mixing up the dough, only to find out it won’t rise and you will have to chuck the whole thing into the garbage. Second, flour should be all purpose or half AP and half whole wheat. For a long time, I thought replacing all flour with whole wheat was sooo much better and healthier, but it always kind of results in a weird, dense crumb and never quite gets the same texture as something baked with half and half flour mix. Last, be patient with this bread! Yes, there is a rise time and it might seem like it’s going to take forever, but really, if you just walk away and do some cleaning or laundry, come back and pop it in the oven, it won’t seem like you just waited an eternity for your perfectly salty focaccia.
Plans for the weekend? Mine is going to be pretty standard, working and having happy hour dinner with friends, but if anyone wants to come take care of house cleaning for me, I would gladly pay you in carbs.
Rosemary Black Pepper Focaccia
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 packet of yeast
- 1 tablespoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- Additional sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to top
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water, letting it sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and sea salt until dough starts to come together. If the dough is really wet, add an additional 1/4 cup flour until it comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until double in size, which should take about an hour to an hour and a half.
After dough has risen, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet. Spread dough out evenly onto the sheet with your hands, making it slightly smaller than the sheet. After dough has been spread out, dimple the dough down and top with the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the dough springs back lightly when touched. Cut and serve.
This bread lasts only a few days stored at room temperature. If you want it to keep, I would recommend storing it in the fridge.
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