Monday, February 1, 2021

Homemade Italian Focaccia Bread with Rosemary

Learn how to make this extra-soft and super delicious Italian Focaccia Bread from scratch
This focaccia bread is simply delicious. Super soft and wholesome. It combines the fresh aroma of rosemary, and the pungent and fruity flavor of extra virgin olive oil. So simple, but yet so impressive.
I like to bake this bread for our family dinner (with a slice of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella). Or also when I have guests, to serve with a variety of Italian appetizers. And here is my secret. A very simple secret that will guarantee your guests begging for another dinner invitation: bake this focaccia right before everybody is supposed to arrive. Nothing compares to the mouth-watering smell of freshly baked bread. The inviting aroma of this focaccia will surely welcome your guests into your dining room, and make them run for their fork and plate.

The trick to amazingly soft bread is in the rising. The dough needs a warm and safe place to stay. I cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let it sit for about 3 hours in the oven. Turned off, obviously :-)
I am positive that you can do this. And I know that while you will be mixing, kneading and eating this focaccia you will be asking yourself why did you wait this long to try homemade bread. I know you will!
Buon Appetito!


YIELD: 1 9x12 inch focaccia bread
    • 1 medium russet potato (mine was 6.5 oz, 185 gr)
    • 3 cups (375 gr)  bread flour
    • 1 package active dry yeast (3/4 oz, 21 gr)
    • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 3 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil (divided)
    • 5 rosemary sprigs
    • 2 teaspoons (12 gr)  salt
    • about 10 fl oz (300 ml) of water
    • half teaspoon of coarse sea salt 


Preparation time: about 4 hours (35 minutes to prepare, three hours inactive, 25 minutes baking)

Cook the potato in slightly salted water. It should take about 20 minutes. Test with a fork for readiness.
In a large bowl add the flour, yeast, sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and most of the rosemary leaves chopped in small pieces. Save 2 rosemary sprigs for the end.  
Peel the potato when cooked, and pass when still hot through a ricer into the bowl.

Dissolve the salt in 10 fl oz of warm water. Add to the bowl. Mix with a spoon first, until most of the flour is absorbed. 
Once the dough comes together, move it to a clean, lightly floured counter and knead for several minutes, pushing with your palm down and forward. The dough should be slightly sticking to your hand. Add some flour if too sticky, or add a tiny bit of water if too hard to work.
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Keep it in a warm place. As I do for my pizza dough, I place it in the oven (turned off obviously!). Let the dough rise for about an hour and a half.

Line a 9 x 12 in baking pan with parchment paper. Place the dough on the paper, and flatten it down with your fingers. With your finger, punch some holes on the dough, just like in the picture. Sprinkle with sea salt and the remaining rosemary. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Put the pan back in the off-oven, and let the dough rise for another hour and a half, or so.

Remove the pan from the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees. Bake the focaccia bread for about 25 minutes, until slightly golden on top.
Cut in squares and serve warm or at room temperature ... always delicious! Enjoy!

1 comment: