Thursday, May 24, 2012

Focaccia (Pizza)

Jake really likes pizza, so I'm always looking for ways to keep it from getting boring. One of the (several) really great pizzas we had in Spain was made on something like focaccia bread, and as I've never made focaccia before, I was more than happy to try to replicate it. Sigh. I really do love baking bread... Almost as much as I love bread, which is saying something.

Google found this super easy recipe posted by Elise at Simply Recipes, so once I picked up some rosemary at the grocery store, I was all set. With only eight ingredients, all of which I already had (except rosemary, because my herbs died a violent death while we were on vacation), this was really, truly, very easy.

Proof some yeast, dump in some flour, water, olive oil, salt, herbs, and more flour and let the Kitchen Aid do all the work. Let it rise, spread it out in a pan, let it rise again, push your fingers into it like a kindergartner with Play-doh, let it rise again and bake for 25 minutes. Those are some really technical steps, no? While I didn't really change the ingredients, the steps seemed a little wordy as written (the directions were the hardest part of the process), so I rewrote them below for ease of baking.

Herb Focaccia
Makes one sheet, 13x17x2"
  • 2 1/4 t (1 package) dry active yeast
  • 1/3 c warm water, about 100 degrees F
  • 2 1/4 c lukewarm water
  • 2 T olive oil, plus more for coating
  • 3 c bread flour
  • 4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 T salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2-3 T finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary is excellent, but whatever herb you use, don't use dried)
  1. Put the yeast and (1/3 c) warm water in the bowl of a KA mixer and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add in (2 1/4 c) lukewarm water, (2 T) olive oil, 2 c flour (doesn't matter which one), herbs and (1 T) salt. Turn the KA mixer on to the lowest setting (using the dough hook) and let the ingredients just come together.
  3. Add the rest of the flour about a cup at a time. Once all the flour is added, let the dough knead for 8 minutes or so. If the dough is tacky, add a little more flour.
  4. Pull the dough off the dough hook and spray or pour a little olive oil onto the dough. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.
    Note: You can move the dough to a new bowl, I just find it convenient to let it rest in the mixer bowl.
  5. Spray olive oil on whatever you're going to use to bake your bread in (13"x17" baking sheet, 9"x13" baking dishes, etc.), unless it already has a nonstick coating, and shape the dough to fit your baking dish(es). Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. Use your fingers to press into the dough and create dimples. Cover and let rise (one last time) for 2 hours. After 90 minutes, start preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Spray or paint with olive oil, sprinkle with more salt (if desired) and bake for 20-25 minutes, occasionally spritzing the inside of the oven with water (if desired). Immediately turn out onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.

This bread was very tasty. As Elise says, it could feed a lot of people, but you might be surprised how much you can eat on your own. I know I was. Once I'd cut it into 6 (fairly) equal portions, I split 4 of them in half lengthwise (sandwich-style) for pizza, cut one into slices for munching and left the 6th as-is for versatility. Three of the 6 portions went into the freezer immediately for safe-keeping. I really couldn't be trusted.

I took one of the split portions, topped each side with some (quick homemade) tomato sauce and a generous sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Jake wanted turkey pepperoni and less cheese on his. I wouldn't dignify that with a picture (just kidding, I just forgot).

This focaccia would make some great sandwiches (if only Jake liked sandwiches), but whether it's for pizza or just for snacking, I'll definitely be making this bread again.


  1. delicious!! and the triple chocolate recipe too!!!

  2. oh that looks very very nice!! and the recipe seems simple enough...some of the focaccia recipes i've seen are more than 24 hours in the making!!

  3. Yummy! I love any type of bread... especially when you turn a loaf into pizza! :) Good to know that the extra shortbread dough makes a nice pie crust, too!