This past week, I have been craving for Italian bread a lot. Each morning I wake up and think of a specific bread that I miss. Focaccia, sfilatino, panini all’olio, rosette, pagnotta. Obviously I can’t find traditional Italian bread in Tuscaloosa, so if I want to fulfill my desires, I just need to make my own bread.
On Saturday I was craving some focaccia, which luckily is pretty easy to make.
Knead the dough, let it rise a couple hours, bake. It’s not rocket science. As I was kneading the bread I remembered of my favorite bakery back home, and how they would sell a savory rosemary and sea salt focaccia. I can still recall the aroma of fresh baked bread infused with rosemary. Delizioso! So here is my simple version you can can easily make at home.
When I made the bread I used part white flour and part whole wheat, to give it a slightly more crispy texture. If you would like a fluffy, white focaccia, then use only white flour. It is important however that you use bread flour instead of all purpose, as the latter is too fine and bleached and will not give you the right consistency.
You can pair your focaccia with any cured meats, cheese, jelly, or even a little bit of Nutella. Since the weather was so nice, we actually decided to have a little picnic on our porch and feel that nice warm (crazy, I know) December breeze. Let me know if you try this recipe and how you like it. Do you have a favorite type of bread you like? Let me know in a comment below.
- 1 cup white bread flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1. Warm up a cup of water in the microwave until warm. Stir in yeast until completely dissolved and frothy. Add the sugar to activate the yeast.
- 2. In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Make sure all dry ingredients are evenly combined. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and slowly start incorporating the warm water. Use a fork or a spatula to help you mix the ingredients.
- 3. Sprinkle some flour on your work area and transfer the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. If the dough is too dry and hard, add a little water or oil. If it is too wet, add flour.
- 4. Place the dough in a dry and warm place, covered by a cloth or clean dish towel. I usually place mine in the turned off oven. Let it rise for at least 2 hours.
- 5. Grease a large cooking pan sheet with some olive oil. Spread your bread evenly in it. Using your fingers, create small dimples on the surface of your bread. This will make your bread soft and fluffy.
- 6. Abuntantly brush your bread with any leftover olive oil. Make sure to fill the dimples as well. Sprinkle the bread with rosemary and sea salt.
- 7. Bake in the oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden.