If you have never made focaccia, you are in for a treat. This Italian flat bread has a consistency somewhat like a pizza crust but the flavor of the dough is just incredible, with the blend of rosemary, oregano and basil.
I’m not a huge fan of pizza because it normally has a tomato based sauce that I find too rich. This recipe gives me the feeling of pizza with just the deliciousness of the toppings.
It takes a bit of time to make from scratch but is well worth it. And most of the time is just allowing the dough to rise a couple of times, like any bread, so you can spend that time with a magazine and a glass of wine, knowing what is in store later today.
Focaccia can be topped in many ways. Today, I used sweet Vidalia onions, Roma tomatoes and some bell peppers, but any veggies you like will work well. Add in a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, cook and enjoy.
Focaccia can be served as a side dish for any main course, and makes a wonderful addition to a heaping bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night. One of my favorite ways to use it is as a “fancy pants” sandwich with arugula, mozzarella, and tomato slices and you will wow your friends.
The aroma of the bread really is very special, even when the bread is cool.
For the Dough:
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups water,at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
For the Topping:
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 medium bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), chopped
- 1 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- extra oregano, basil, and rosemary
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, slowly mix the flour, yeast, spices, and sugar. Gradually add in the water and oil. When the dough starts to form, add the salt. Mix for about 3 minutes. The dough will pull away from the bowl and form a flexible consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm area for 45 minutes to let the dough rise.
- Put parchment paper on 2 round pizza sheets and spray with Pam cooking spray.
- Knead the risen dough for 2- minutes so the air bubbles will dissipate. Divide in half. Use a rolling pin to flatten into 2 round shapes. Place on the pizza sheets, cover with towels and set aside for another 30 minutes to rise again.
- While the dough is rising the second time, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the Vidalia onion and saute until just transparent. Stir in the peppers and continue to cook until softened. Remove and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375º F. Spread the cooled vegetables on the dough. Scatter the tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and season with the extra spices and salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dough is lightly browned on the bottom.
- Makes two round breads, each serving about 8.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 315mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.