Friday, February 11, 2011

Olive Focaccia

This fresh and aromatic bread is great served with your favorite Italian meal, or even as a stand alone for a delicious snack.

The dough is easy to work with, and there is very little hands-on time needed to prepare it. Yummy!
Olive Focaccia
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 8-10

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups all purpose flour (10 oz Soft White wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup olives (any variety or combination), roughly chopped
Olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow to stand for 2 minutes.

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using paddle attachment, with mixer on low, add oil and yeast/water. Mix until dough comes together (it will be sticky).

Coat a bowl with oil, and roll dough into a ball. Toss dough ball in oil to coat. Cover with plastic and allow to rise until double (1-2 hours). (Or you can store in the fridge at this point until you need it).

When ready to make focaccia, blot olives dry.

Place dough on lightly floured surface. Gently knead in olives, being careful not to overwork the dough. Roll into a large, thin rectangle or oval. Place on olive-oil greased cookie sheet. Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 400ยบ. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Use your fingertips to make dimples on the surface of the puffy dough. Drizzle top lightly with olive oil (optional), and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut with pizza wheel or knife. Best served immediately. (This bread does get a bit hard the next day, but you can cube and toast it to make delicious croutons!). Enjoy!

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