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My son baked some focaccia Bread, and then his SIL did as well. The pictures looked so delicious. I had never made focaccia bread myself and decided to give it a try. I have a number of herbs that I have been growing and this was the perfect opportunity to use them in a new way.
Focaccia Bread is very easy to make and is a lot of fun! You really get to put your hands in the dough. The outcome is so delicious because the olive oil is definitely the star of the show. In addition, there are so many topping choices that a variety of flavors are possible if you are making more than one loaf. Wouldn’t that be nice on a luncheon table? Many people use focaccia for sandwiches or for pizza, and of course, just to eat all by itself.
As I mentioned, focaccia bread is very easy to make. My first attempt came out so good! I was nervous because there was so much olive oil! But, when it came out of the oven that was all incorporated into a bread that was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The olive oil and the herbs with that sprinkle of salt were an explosion of flavor in my mouth.
One tip to get the most flavor from the herbs is to make sure that they are coated with the olive oil. I watched some Italian You Tubers who gave that suggestion. I guess the oil helps to bring out the flavor and convey it to the bread dough. So, you will notice in the recipe that I soaked my herbs in the olive oil that I used in the bread dough and also drizzled over the bread.
Another tip is about the kneading technique for this bread. Not everyone does this method, but a number of bakers do and I decided to try it. It is the stretching and pulling method. I like it because the dough is pretty sticky and needs to be in order to get the texture that you want in focaccia bread. With the stretch and pull method of kneading, you are elongating the gluten without adding too much flour to the mix as you would with a regular kneading method. Here is how you do it:
My final tip pertains to dimpling the top of the bread. Focaccia is supposed to have lots of lumps, bumps and crannies where the oil and toppings can gather. Adding the dimples also keeps the bread from rising too quickly. Focaccia is a flat bread and this is a way of keeping it that way! Putting water on your fingers helps them not to stick in the dough. Then, use those fingers to push into the dough to form the dimples. It is the fun part of making this bread! Don’t be afraid to push in until you feel the bottom of the pan.
My recipe is a conglomeration of various recipes and videos that I watched as I tried to glean information about making focaccia. Some of the videos weren’t even in English! But, my main source was probably from Immaculate Bites who also gave me the instruction to infuse the oil with the herb flavor, although she did it differently than I did. You may want to go to her site to see how she did it. She used her machine to do the kneading and didn’t do the stretching and pulling method, so you can choose to do it whichever way you prefer. Focaccia seems to be a hands on bread though. Many people mixed all of it by hand from start to finish! But, here is the recipe that I ended up adapting to my preferences. I hope you enjoy it!
One last tip! Focaccia Bread tastes the very best when it is still warm on the first day it is made, so have some friends over or get all of your kids to the table and eat it all up! You can warm up the leftovers in the microwave, but I still think the first moments after it cools slightly out of the oven is the best time to gobble it down!
Other Bread Recipes you may enjoy!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!