Focaccia Bread

Parmesan Focaccia

 Focaccia is a traditional Italian flatbread that is distinguishable by it’s dimpled top made by poking your fingers into the dough before baking.

It’s a soft bread with a mild flavor that makes the best sandwiches. It is similar to pizza dough but with a lot more fluff, flavor and tenderness.

I love it for its versatility. You can top it with fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme; sauteed veggies like onion and garlic, fresh veggies like tomatoes and bell peppers; shredded or grated cheese, meat like prosciutto and salami; sun-dried tomatoes, black or green olives, and of course the requisite coarse sea or kosher salt.

You can make it as thin or as thick as you’d like depending on what you fancy it for. Slice it into squares or long and thin like bread sticks.

It makes excellent pizza; dipping vessels or croutons for soups; or just eaten alongside your favorite pasta dish.

Some of my favorite ways to eat it is lightly toasted for sandwiches; fried egg and bacon, turkey and avocado, or salami and cream cheese.

It’s a delicious replacement for burger buns. One of my all-time favorite burgers is on focaccia topped with prosciutto, provolone, caramelized onions and pesto mayo. Mouth-watering…

Parmesan Focaccia

Focaccia Sandwich Bread
(adapted from Tyler Florence)
2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and the remainder all-purpose)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting
Toppings:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Parmesan Cheese
1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl.
2. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
4. Coat a large sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/4-inch thick for sandwich bread. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle on the salt and Parmesan. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Parmesan Focaccia

Italian Focaccia

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