Everybody Needs a Great Bread

April 2, 2012

A while ago, I had a conversation with one of my blogging friends about focaccia.  Allison told me that she had a wonderful focaccia recipe, but needed to unearth it.  I had actually forgotten all about it until I saw the Sandwich King a few weeks ago.  He made focaccia and that sent me on a quest.  I know that I could have used his recipe, but he never made it on the show.  What’s the point of having a cooking show on the Food Network if you aren’t actually going to cook on the show?  Plus, I think his show is getting worse instead of better.  I liked his show in the beginning, but now I just wish he would stop talking, and dancing, and singing and just make something.

Sorry, back to the focaccia.  I found a great recipe from Anne Burrell.  I love her.  I love how no-nonsense she is.  Her recipe is really simple, because that’s what focaccia is, a nice simple bread.  Perfect for a sandwich, or not.

The only thing I did differently with this recipe is I used some 00 flour.  It’s used to make pasta, pizza dough and bread.  I used a one cup of 00 flour and the rest was the AP flour.  You can find this flour in Italian specialty shops.  It’s really expensive but worth the price.  I mean more expensive that King Arthur flour.  My one pound bag cost as much as the five-pound one of King Arthur.   Comparing it to regular flour, it’s easier to work with, yeast loves it and it’s airier.  I think it has something to do with they way it’s milled.


  • 1 3/4 C Warm Water (110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 t Dry Active Yeast (or one package)
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 5 C Flour (or 4 C Flour and 1 C 00 Flour), plus more for kneading
  • 1 T Coarse Kosher Salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 C Olive Oil, divided
  • Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme for sprinkling

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl, place in a warm place and allow to bubble for at least 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, 1 T salt, 1/2 C olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed.  Once the dough has come together, continue to mix for 5 to 6 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft.  Add additional flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.

Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand one or two times.  Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place the dough has doubled in size, at least an hour.

Coat a jelly roll pan with the remaining 1/2 C olive oil  Put the dough onto the jelly roll pan and begin pressing it out to fit the pan.  Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil.  Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan.  As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough to give it a rustic look.

Cover and allow the dough to rest until it has doubled in size, about an hour.  Liberally sprinkle the top of the dough with salt, oregano, rosemary and thyme.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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