Focaccia – An Italian Bread

Bread Baking needs lots of Patience and Practice . This was my first attempt to try my hands on baking a bread and quite happy with the results.

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza dough. Focaccia can be used as a side to many meals or as sandwich bread. Focaccia is a Italian cuisine that may be served as an appetizer, table bread, or snack. 

Homemade -preservative & chemical free stuffed Focaccia, drenched with spiced Extra virgin olive oil, loaded with dried herbs and exotic veggies. Pure bliss in every bite.

Ingredients

Spiced oil


1/4 cup  extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried

1tbsp red chilli flake

For the Dough: 


Little less than 1 cup warm water & not hot (quantity varies as per absorbtion of flour…so add water in small quantities as needed )

1/2 tablespoon instant yeast 

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or ordinary table salt

Exotic veggies of your choice( coloured bell peppers,capsicum,baby corn, black olives,cherry tomatoes &onion).

I used what was available with me.

Preparation

Step 1 : Spiced Oil
In a small heavy bottom pan , combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, and red chilli flakes. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally,  until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set it aside.


Step 2 : Making dough

In a large bowl, combine  the 1/2 cup of  warm water, yeast & sugar. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes. Add half of the flour and a few tablespoon  of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time only if needed


Stir in the remaining  flour and the salt. Once the dough comes together, transfer to a floured flat surface /clean kitchen platform and knead the dough 10 to 15 times until smooth. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover a bowl with a warm, damp towel /cling wrap and let it rise to double, it took me 1 hour. (It’s best to let the dough rise in a warmer area of your kitchen)


After an hour when the dough has risen to double, gently deflate the dough, bring it out on flat surface, knead lightly with hands and now divide the dough into 2 parts.Roll one part of dough into the size of your baking tin. Grease the baking tin nicely with oil. Gently place the rolled dough into tin,brush the top with spiced oil, spread half of veggies then roll another part of dough of same size  place over first half covering the bottom layer

Gently press the top layer from all sides . Make impressions with your knuckles with light hand, brush the rest of the spiced oil left evenly all over.Let the oil seep in to add more flavours and softness to the bread, spread the remaining veggies and cover it with kitchen towel for approx 20 min. for the second rise


Pre-heat oven for 10 min at 200°c

Place the tin in oven & bake at 190°c for 25 min. Keep an eye after 18- 20 min as every oven behaves different. Once its baked to golden brown, take it out, brush lightly with little oil when its still hot

Let it sit in pan for 5 min ,then transfer on cooling rack

Focaccia tastes yummm served both hot or after cooling


Enjoy a with hot cuppa of tea as evening snack or team up with your favourite soup in dinner

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