No Fuss Focaccia
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp instant yeast
2 tsp onion powder
4 tsp Italian seasoning
Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray then drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the bottom of the pan.
Place the water, olive oil, salt, flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute. The dough will be smooth, elastic and sticky.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan. With oil or water on the tip of your fingers (don’t use more flour, you want the dough to remain sticky), press the dough into the bottom of the pan, nudging to get it all the way into the corners. Cover the pan and let the dough rise for about 60 minutes, or until it is puffy.
While the dough rises, preheat oven to 375°F.
Once risen, uncover the pan and use your fingers to make dimples all over the dough (you may need a bit of oil on your fingers if the dough is too sticky). Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle it with the Italian seasoning.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then turn the focaccia out of the pan (otherwise the bottom crust will get soggy). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Pairs Well With
Let me tell you, it lives up to its “No Fuss” name and also makes a great piece of bread. Look at the cross section here. Crunchy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy on the inside. We started tearing pieces off this load to try and had to stop ourselves before we had no room left for our actual dinner.
On great use would be to cut off a good-sized square, then slice it in half cross ways and make a rockin’ sandwich. I have just such plans for some of the leftovers.
To make, you combine all the ingredients in a mixer (I have one of the smaller KitchenAid models) and beat it for about 1 minute. This is a basically a “no knead” bread, so the dough is really shaggy and sticky. Don’t worry, though, just tip the whole thing into greased 13×9 pan and do your best spread it around to cover most of the pan. Leave it set for an hour and it will puff up and fill the pan.
I followed the original recipe and topped it with a mixture of basil, oregano, onion and garlic powder. Bake for around 30-25 minutes or until golden brown.
I know I will be making this Focaccia again, probably whenever we have friends over for one of our regular pasta dinners. You could dress it up in any number of ways, topping with whatever ingredients strike your fancy. I’m thinking you could even make a nice rustic pizza by letting it rise on a larger pan, maybe a half sheet pan and then lightly topping it with sauce and more.
From my series, Recipes in Rotation on My Word on Food (http://welchwrite.com/blog/category/recipes-in-rotation/)