Thursday, September 8, 2016

Focaccia Bread

If you are on a no-carb diet, you will not find the dish in this post appetizing; it's out of the question if I were to ask you to give this recipe a try, is it not? :) All I have to say is that you are missing out, guys, focaccia bread is an Italian bread, simple recipe consists of all simple ingredients, but surprisingly it tastes amazingly delicious. After I had the chance to taste some of the delicious focaccia from Liguria bakery in San Francisco, I officially have gotten myself in this focaccia phase, as of today, it still holds true. Like I said it's so simple, therefore, I bake them very often, eat as much as I could, give some to friends and families, the rest I would pack and freeze them; they are my quick breakfast on one of that rushed morning, when I do not have the time to fix my breakfast before going to work.  As you will see soon enough that I have baked countless of focaccias in the past few months, tested out quite a lot of recipes that I found online, they each have their pros and cons in which I have learned so much about focaccias. The recipe that I would be sharing with you all in this post consists of all the goods techniques, ingredients, portions, from various recipes that I have tried. Enjoy.
-2 + 3/4 cups of bread flours
-2 + 1/2 teaspoons of Fleischmann's active dry yeast
-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
-1 teaspoon of sea salt
-1 teaspoon of white sugar
-1 cup of whole milk
-1 teaspoon of fresh and minced rosemary
-1 cookie sheet
For Toppings:
From the pictures of my focaccias you see that I have used many different ingredients for the topping, they each taste amazing. So you should try to do that, too, to find out which topping you like best.

-In a clean small bowl, add the whole milk, warm it up in the microwave to 110 F, as you add the white sugar stir it well, sprinkle in the Fleischmann's active dry yeast, mix well. Cover with a plastic saran wrap set it aside in a warm area for 30 minutes.
-Mix the bread flours and salt in a big dried mixing bowl, create a well in the middle, in that well, pour in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and the mixture of the milk and yeast, use a fork to mix all the ingredients together until the flour absorbs all the liquid, transfer the flour to a clean counter, use your clean hands to knead the flour well for at least 10 minutes.
-Ater 10 minutes of kneading, the texture of the dough might be a little differ depends on the temperature of where you are at. Dust a little flour on the dough and continue to knead if the dough is a little too wet, drizzle over few drops of extra virgin olive oil if the dough is right and / or dried, do that for 3 times. This step is crucial, it will yield us a soft, airy and fluffy focaccia.
-With the same bowl that you use to mix the flour earlier, drizzle and slather some olive oil in the bowl, place the dough in, give it a twirl, to make sure the dough is coated with the olive oil.
-Cover the bowl with the plastic saran wrap, over the saran wrap cover with clean wet and warmed towels to create a warm environment for the dough to rest, place it in a very warm place for at least 1 hour, to let the dough rest, after 1 hour the dough will rise double in size.
-After 1 hour, take off the saran wrap, punch the dough with your hand to release the air, place it on a greased cookie sheet with a good amount of olive oil.
-Pat the dough evenly into 1/2 inch thick, you can shape the bread to rectangle of circle
-Use your index and middle fingers to make the indentations in the dough, on some of my focaccia, I also use the fork after indented the bread with my fingers.
-Cover the dough with plastic saran wrap, place it in a warm area for another hour to let it proof, rises.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-When the dough is finished proofing, take off the saran wrap, add the topping if you like. Please see pictures and notes of my focaccias at which I topped various kinds of toppings.
-If you prefer your focaccia plain, brush a little of the olive oil on top of the dough, then pop it in an oven to bake it for 20 minutes.
-Take it out when it's done, last but not least is to sprinkle some grains of sea salt all over the focaccia, transfer the focaccia to a cooling rack, cut into pieces when it's completed cool down.
-A good focaccia bread requires a fluffy, airy and soft texture in the bread. As you see it's very simple recipe, and it tastes so amazingly delicious, buttery although we do not use any butter; it's a perfect for breakfast or snack throughout the days.

I searched and read a lot of recipes and articles that had anything to do with focaccia bread. Semolina flour was mentioned quite a lot in most of my findings. From my experience in making focaccia bread, semolina flour is not a must have ingredient in order to make delicious focaccia bread. Semolina flour is hard to find, I bought mine from Amazon. 
My very first time making the focaccia bread 
 Texture came out ok, not very happy with it, though. 
 I had used Semolina flour in this recipe
 This I would have to call it's a focaccia bread night because at that night I got to make three focaccia bread. Oh, my. :) 
I decided to give a Raisins focaccia bread recipe a shot, and surprisingly, it came out very good. 

 While waiting for the dough to proof, I prepared all the toppings for the focaccias

indent the dough, then cover them with saran wrap, set aside in a warm place to let them proof, rise again. 

put on toppings, with this one, it's very simple, washed sweet basil and cherry tomatoes, brush some of the olive oil on top, sprinkle a touch of sea salt and pop it in an oven.
Black olive
black olive has salt in them already, therefore, no need to season them, just brush a little olive on top, then  you are ready to pop it in an oven. 
 Garlic and rosemary. 
 As you can see, when it comes to toppings, you can top it with whatever ingredients you like. 
 We sure had  a blast that night at my friend's house.
 Raisins focaccia
with the raisins focaccia, after the dough finished proofing, sprinkle a good amount of brown sugar, and drizzle a little olive oil on top then it ready for baking.
 Voila, bon appetit :) 
Feel free to brush, dab few drops of olive oil on the focaccia after they came out of an oven, then sprinkle some grains of sea salt on them if they are savory focaccia 

There I was, having too much fun with all of my focaccias.

Hereafter, are the focaccias that I made after that night at my house. 
plain focaccia
 Rosemary and sweet basil focaccia
 mushroom and rosemary focaccia
Sweet basil and garlic focaccia

with the mushroom topping, chop mushrooms, mince the rosemary, and some garlic if you like, place them in a clean small pot, drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, mix well, turn on the heat to let them cook briefly. Turn off the heat, let them cool down, top them on the dough when it's done proofing. 
mushroom, rosemary, and red onion focaccia


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