As posted on Grab a Plate
Homemade bread doesn’t have to be difficult. Think focaccia! Grab whatever toppings you like for this flat-bread, Italian specialty that is easy to make.
Focaccia is a flat bread that is similar to pizza, yet not quite the same. Olive oil, herbs and salt are popular toppings for this Italian specialty, but it’s easy to add other toppings you find appealing and that go well with bread (quite a long list that could be)!
Note: You can use a standing mixer with a dough hook to mix the dough, but this was made the old-fashioned way, kneading it by hand.
- 2 teaspoons active, quick-rising yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups flour (for thinner dough, use 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal, for dusting the pan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for topping)
- 1 green onion, minced (for topping)
- 1 garlic clove, sliced thin (for topping)
- 2 small tomatoes, diced (for topping)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for topping)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt (for topping)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (for topping)
Note: You can use a standing mixer with a dough hook to mix the dough, but we made our bread the old-fashioned way, kneading it with our hands.
1. Combine the yeast with warm water (this is referred to as proofing the yeast) in a small bowl along with the sugar. Gently stir the mixture to dissolve everything. Allow the yeast to stand for about 3 minutes until it gets a bit foamy.
2. Add the flour to a large bowl and make a well in the center of it.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in a few tablespoons of water, and add it to the flour along with the yeast mixture. Next add the olive oil to the mixture.
4. With your hands and a spatula to scrape down the bowl, mix everything together to form the dough. Punch down and knead the dough, turning it as you go, for at least 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, soft and pliable. Add a bit of flour to the dough as needed. Form the dough into a round ball.
5. Add some olive oil to your hands and smooth it over the dough ball to coat it and leave it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a thick towel and place the bowl in a warm spot to let the dough rise to double its size (about 45 minutes to an hour).
6. Coat a baking sheet (with sides) with olive oil and sprinkle a few tablespoons of cornmeal over the entire pan. Set aside.
7. Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface and punch it down 3-4 times. Allow it to stand for a few minutes while you get your toppings ready.
8. Moving back to the dough, roll and stretch it out into an oblong shape that is about 1/2 an inch thick. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap and let it stand for about 15 minutes.
9. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. After the dough has rested and you’re ready to bake it, poke small wells all around the dough using your finger. Brush the surface of the dough with olive oil.
10. Evenly sprinkle on the dried oregano, green onion, tomato and garlic. Sprinkle with coarse salt, then grated Parmesan cheese.
11. Bake on the bottom rack for 20 minutes, checking it as it gets close to the end of the baking time.