What makes focaccia so dense

Focaccia bread

Focaccia bread - surprisingly light, but rich and aromatic Italian bread that is tough, soft and slightly crispy. A great alternative to the usual pizza dough. Can be served as a breakfast, snack, appetizer or as a side dish. Taste in every bite!

For some of us, Friday evening means PIZZA NIGHT. But if you want to change things up a little (oh yes, I do) then our recipe for today is a great homemade alternative to your regular pizza dough. Focaccia bread is LIGHT, FLAVORED and very VERSATILE. And no, you don't have to be an Italian grandma to bake this bread - beginners are welcome to bake it!

What is focaccia bread?

Focaccia, pronounced “fuh-KA-cha”, is an Italian yeast bread that is baked flat in trays. It is usually seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and herbs, and in some cases with vegetables as a topping. Among all the many variations of this popular bread, Focaccia al rosmarino (or with rosemary) is my favorite - and we make it today!

Focaccia bread ingredients

This bread here has many reasons to be loved. It can be served as a breakfast sandwich, snack, starter or as an accompaniment to main courses - meat, seafood, vegetables or soups and stews. You can literally eat it THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

Because this bread is so versatile, there is no need to use any hard-to-find ingredients. Basically, the primary ingredients are listed below:

olive oil
garlic
fresh thyme and rosemary
warm milk
sugar
All-purpose flour
sea-salt
active dry yeast
Don't worry, friends, because this delicious Italian bread is curious and fail-safe. It doesn't have to be kneaded that much, you know. Just be sure to check the label of your yeast before mixing them. Then you have nothing more to fear!

Focaccia topping

As for the topping, I only used the simple toppings - garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sea salt. Nothing fancy! But if you want to go all out, feel free to add some of the following:

sliced ​​olives as a topping for the dough
thinly sliced ​​raw or caramelized onions
Mushrooms
artichokes
spring onions
Cherry tomatoes or sliced ​​tomatoes
grated cheese (add before or after baking)
Sage or oregano (instead of rosemary)
Pesto (add before or after baking)
Can I bake a sweet focaccia bread?
Yes, ma’am, you can do that for sure. In northwest Italy there is a sweet version of focaccia bread that is sprinkled with sugar. Typical ingredients that are added to the dough are honey, raisins, and other sweet things you can think of.

Can you make focaccia batter ahead of time?

The longer the dough rests, the better its taste. Just imagine the olive oil and rosemary mixture soaked in it. Luckily, we can safely cook it ahead of time and just shove it in the oven when the craving arises.

FREEZING THE DOUGH

After it rises in the mixing bowl, beat the batter down to deflate. Then the dough is tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag or Ziploc bag and frozen for up to 3 months. When it's ready to bake, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, bringing it to room temperature before continuing with the recipe below.

FREEZE BAKED FOCACCIA

Although this bread is best enjoyed the same day it is made, it can be baked and frozen beforehand. Just let the baked bread cool completely before wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer bag or aluminum foil and freeze it for up to a month. When the bread is ready to eat, thaw it at room temperature and warm it in the oven.

What do you eat focaccia bread with?

Traditionally, Italians like to serve focaccia bread as a sandwich by slicing it in half and filling it with salami, cheese and ham. Or you can do it my way by serving this bread with one of the following ingredients:

chili
Prawn and spinach noodles (with video)
Brunswick stew
simple noodle salad
Cajun Whole Roast Chicken
If you notice the above dishes, it means that the focaccia bread can be served at almost ANYTHING and at any time of the day.

How to make focaccia bread

Mixing the toppings

In a medium pan, mix olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, and black pepper. Place the pan on a low fire and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is flavorful but before it burns. Put aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add warm milk and sugar and stir. Add the yeast to the milk and stir. Let them stand for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast is frothy.

Making the dough

Add half the flour, salt and 1/4 cup of the garlic and olive oil mixture to the bowl with the yeast and milk. Stir until the flour is moistened, then stir in the remaining flour and mix for about 3-5 minutes until the batter comes together. Place the dough on a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times to form a smooth dough. Do not knead the dough over.

Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and put it in a warm place. Let it go for about an hour or until it almost doubles.

Shape the dough

Preheat oven to 450 ° F (230 ° C). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Cover the dough with cling film and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a large greased baking sheet. Use your fingers to run very deep dimples over the entire surface of the dough, then drizzle the remaining olive oil and garlic mixture over the surface of the dough and sprinkle it evenly with the fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the batter is lightly golden in color and baked through. Remove from the oven and, if desired, drizzle with a little more olive oil. Cut into slices and serve warm.

ingredients

½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (3 g) chopped fresh thyme
½ tablespoon (1.5 g) chopped fresh rosemary
¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (240 ml) warm milk
2 teaspoons (8 g) of sugar
2 ¼ - 3 teaspoons (7 g) active dry yeast (1 packet)
3 ¾ - 4 cups (469-500 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (2.5g) fine sea salt plus something to garnish
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

instructions

In a medium pan, mix together olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, and black pepper. Place the pan on a low fire and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is flavorful but before it burns. Put aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add warm milk and sugar and stir. Add the yeast to the milk and stir. Let rest for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast is frothy.

Add half the flour, salt and 1/4 cup of the garlic and olive oil mixture to the bowl with the yeast and milk. Stir until the flour is moistened, then stir in the remaining flour and mix for about 3-5 minutes until the batter comes together. Place the dough on a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times to form a smooth dough. Do not knead the dough over.

Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until it has almost doubled.

Preheat the oven to 450 ° F (230 ° C). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle until the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Cover the dough with cling film and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a large greased baking sheet. Run your fingers very deep into the indentations on the entire surface of the dough, then drizzle the remaining olive oil and garlic mixture over the dough and sprinkle the dough evenly with fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the batter is slightly golden and baked through. Remove from the oven and, if desired, drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Cut into slices and serve warm.

Notes on the recipe

To cool or freeze leftover focaccia, first wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap it in aluminum wrap. Store in the refrigerator for about 2 days and in the freezer for about a month.
If you prefer a thinner focaccia bread, just roll it out a little more. It will rise significantly when you bake it.
You can also prepare this focaccia bread with bread flour. Both all-purpose flour and bread flour give excellent results.
You can also store the focaccia dough in a Ziploc bag, remove all air from the bag and seal it tightly, and store it in the refrigerator for about three days and in the freezer for about 3 months. When the dough is ready to use, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and bake it as described above.
Please note that the nutritional information is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly depending on the products used.

Source: https: //www.africanbites.com/focaccia-bread/

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