My Austrian husband makes bread about once a week. He doesn’t use a recipe, and I haven’t been able to tell if it’s because he has a memorized recipe tucked away in his brain, or if he really is just making it up as he goes along… either way, fresh European crusty bread appeared around here each Tuesday, or did. Until this focaccia bread ruined everything.
This recipe is pretty simple and requires only a bowl and wooden spoon and a cast iron skillet, and a bit of space on the counter for kneading the bread, which makes it ideal for a tiny house kitchen.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
Pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic minced fine (we love garlic!)
1 tablespoon Parmesan
½ cup mozzarella
Optional toppings like bell pepper, onion, olives, and pepperoni as desired.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the olive oil and warm water. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out on a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. In a large bowl turn 2 tablespoons of good olive oil to coat the bowl and the dough. Cover with a damp cloth, and let it raise in a warm place for 20 minutes. (Turn the oven on the lowest setting for a few minutes to warm it, then turn it back off and put the dough in there to raise.)
When the dough has doubled, turn it out into your cast iron skillet, using the oil in the bowl to grease the skillet. Gently spread to size and top with minced garlic, bell pepper, onion, and cheese as desired.
Allow it to raise a second time for another 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Just yesterday we were talking about focaccia bread with our friends who lived in Italy for a decade. It’s made differently in different parts of Italy. In some places they add olives, in other places they add cheese or bits of sausage. So here’s your opportunity to get creative and add your favorite things on this dough. But don’t treat it like pizza and load it up with toppings or the bread won’t be able to rise and will have a heavier texture. Sprinkle on the minced garlic, a few slices of green pepper, onion, pepperoni and your favorite cheese. Bake it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.
My Austrian had a few bites, commented on how good it was.
I can’t even bear to write this.
“I guess I don’t have to make bread anymore.”
I did not see that coming.
I should have, I am not a rookie. But I totally walked right into that one. This is the focaccia bread that ruined MONTHS of fresh bread that happened at our place without me ever lifting a finger, he even washed the dishes afterward.
You were warned.
Made it. Ate it. It was good!