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Classic Focaccia Topped with Fresh Rosemary

This classic focaccia topped with fresh rosemary is easy to make and feeds a crowd.



Perfect for feeding a crowd, focaccia is a rich and flavorful Italian flat bread baked in a sheet pan. It’s made with a yeast dough that rises twice: once after it is mixed and then again after it is shaped (so be sure to allow plenty of time). To give the bread its signature dimpled appearance, you use your fingers to form little indentations all over the dough. These “dimples” hold tiny pools of olive oil that soak into the bread as it bakes. The recipe calls for about one cup of oil, which I know seems like a lot, but that’s what makes focaccia so good! Note that the oil is added in stages, so be sure to read the recipe carefully before starting so that you don’t accidentally add it all at once.


Adapted from Anne Burrell, this simple focaccia is topped with coarse salt and fresh rosemary, but other toppings can be added, such as thinly sliced tomatoes, olives, or grated cheese, to name just a few. Enjoy the bread warm out of the oven with soup, pasta or a salad. Leftovers make wonderful sandwiches.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE FOCACCIA



I use instant or rapid-rise yeast (it is sometimes labeled “bread machine instant yeast,” as pictured above) to make focaccia and other yeast breads. It rises much faster than regular active dry yeast. Yeast is sold in jars or packets, and will keep in the refrigerator for three to six months once opened. If you don’t bake a lot of homemade breads, it’s best to buy the individual packets to ensure freshness.


STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS


Step 1: Make the Dough


Begin by combining the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the dough hook.



Mix to combine.



Add 1-3/4 cups warm water and 1/2 cup of the olive oil.



Mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a sticky mass.



Increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the dough becomes soft and slightly tacky. It should stick to the bottom of the bowl a bit. If the dough seems too wet, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of flour, and turn the mixer back on to knead it briefly to combine.



Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.



Briefly knead with your hands until it comes together into a smooth ball.



Step 2: Let the Dough Rise


Place the dough in a large greased bowl, flipping it over once so that both the top and bottom of the dough are lightly slicked with oil.



Let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.



Step 3: Shape the Dough and Let Rise Again


Pour about 1/4 cup olive oil onto a 13″ x 18″ rimmed baking sheet (I know it seems like a lot, but that’s what gives focaccia its characteristic crispy bottom), then place the dough on top.



Flip it over once so that both sides are coated with oil; this makes it easier to stretch. Using your hands, spread it out to the corners of the pan.



Use your fingertips to make dimples all over the dough.



Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again a warm spot until puffed up and doubled in size, about an hour. Drizzle the dough with a bit of olive oil, so it pools in the dimples, and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh rosemary.



Step 4: Bake


Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.



Let cool for about 15 minutes, then transfer to cutting board and slice into squares. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil if desired.


HOW TO FREEZE FOCACCIA


The finished focaccia freezes beautifully. To freeze, cut it into portions, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat the focaccia, remove the plastic wrap and rewrap it in the foil. Heat it in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.



Rosemary Focaccia


By Jennifer Segal Adapted from Anne Burrell


This classic focaccia topped with fresh rosemary is easy to make and feeds a crowd.


Servings: 24 (2½-inch x 3-inch) foccacia squares (serves 10-12) Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Total Time: 40 Minutes, plus 2 to 3 hours rising time


INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife, plus more for kneading

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) instant/rapid-rise yeast (see note)

  • 1 tablespoon + ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1¾ cup warm water

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling the bowl and drizzling on top

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, from several sprigs


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Mix on low speed to combine. Add the water and ½ cup of the olive oil; mix on low speed until the dough comes together, then turn the speed up to medium-low and continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough becomes soft and slightly tacky. It should stick to the bottom of the bowl a bit. If the dough seems too wet, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of flour, and turn the mixer back on to knead it briefly to combine.

  2. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface (it helps to flour your hands, too). Knead by hand briefly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.

  3. Coat the inside of a large bowl with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, flipping once so that both the top and bottom are lightly slicked with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. (The warmer the spot, the faster it will rise.)

  4. Coat a 13" x 18" rimmed baking sheet with ¼ cup of olive oil. (It will seem like a lot, but that's what makes the bottom crispy.) Plop the dough onto the prepared pan and begin pressing it out with your hands to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over once to coat both sides with olive oil.

  5. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. Once the dough is stretched, spread your fingers out and make impressions almost all the way through the dough (don't poke holes, just press down to the bottom of the pan). Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the warm, draft-free spot until the dough has puffed up and doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  6. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Set an oven rack in the middle position.

  7. Sprinkle the top of the focaccia dough with the remaining ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and rosemary, then lightly drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top so it pools in the indentations. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board and slice into squares. Drizzle a touch more oil on top before serving, if desired.

  8. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: Focaccia is best eaten freshly baked but it can be made 1 day ahead of time, if necessary. For best results, wrap the focaccia in aluminum foil and place in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 350°F oven until just warmed through, about 10 minutes. The focaccia can also be made ahead and frozen. To freeze, cut it into portions, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat the focaccia, remove the plastic wrap and re-wrap it in the foil. Heat it in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.

  9. Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant/rapid-rise yeast, however, the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can add it to the warm water in the recipe, let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe.


NUTRITION INFORMATION

  • Serving size:2 squares

  • Calories:325

  • Fat:15 g

  • Saturated fat:2 g

  • Carbohydrates:41 g

  • Sugar:1 g

  • Fiber:2 g

  • Protein:6 g

  • Sodium:160 mg

  • Cholesterol:0 g

Special thanks to Jennifer Segal, for the recipe and images. You can support Jennifer by purchasing her cookbook, "Once Upon a Chef, the Cookbook," featuring over 100 delightful recipes.

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