There’s something about making bread that just makes me feel so happy. I love the specific process required to achieve excellent results. I am by no means a top bread maker, but the basic skills I learned in culinary school can be applied to make a lot of delicious types of bread. I typically find myself making pizza dough because I’m a pizza addict, but the other day I went in a different direction and made some focaccia. I tried a new method where I used 3 parts all purpose flour to 1 part cake flour. The cake flour gave the focaccia its classic airy texture and lightness. I simply topped mine with some dried herbs, crushed red pepper, olive oil and Pecorrino Romano cheese. After taking it out of the oven, I drizzled on some good olive oil and served it beside this Three Cheese Tortellini and Spinach Soup – a perfect pairing!
Easy Homemade Herb Focaccia
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- ¾ tsp. active dry yeast
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsp., plus ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dry parsley
- 1 tsp. dry oregano
- 1 tsp. dry basil
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- Mix water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine flours and salt. Mix well.
- After 15 minutes, add half of the flour mixture to the water. Mix until just combined.
- Cover and let stand for 1 ½ hours.
- Remove cover and add 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil.
- Working in thirds, mix in the remaining flour.
- When all the flour is added, mix until combined and then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead for 5 – 7 minutes until dough is smooth and slightly tacky.
- Place dough in a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 3 hours.
- After three hours, evenly spread half of the remaining olive oil onto a large sheet pan or two 13″x9″ pans.
- Place dough onto pan (or split dough evenly amongst the two pans) and using your hands, gently press and stretch the dough to fit the pan.
- Brush the top of the dough with remaining olive oil and then evenly sprinkle on the remaining ingredients.
- Let dough rest while the oven pre-heats to 350 degrees.
- When oven is pre-heated, cook for 25 – 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven, drizzle with additional olive oil and serve immediately.