Flour Focaccia

This recipe yields a Focaccia bread with a dense, super soft crumb.

I have made yeasted bread only a handful of times.  EVERY time I do it is ten times better than store bought.  And really, it only requires a small amount of extra effort.  This bread is incredibly soft and moist and has a crunchy crust and goes with everything and ... You get the idea.   My absolute favorite part of this bread is the cornmeal bottom.  Scrumptious.  

The instructions sound complicated but ignore that.  Because this is easy as it gets.  You won't regret it.  And it's not an all day task.  You prepare the dough (10 minutes), let it rise, fold it up and shape (5 minutes), and let it rise, press/poke/elongate (1 minute), and bake.  The hardest part is the waiting!

If you don't eat the whole loaf in time and it goes stale (Not sure how that would happen) just cut it up into cubes, throw some herbs/garlic on it and toss with olive oil for extraordinary croutons.  

If you would like to save time and energy you can double, triple, quadruple this recipe and freeze the loaves for a later use.  Instructions:  bake it, freeze in two layers of plastic wrap, thaw it for 4 hours, and pop it in the oven for 5 minutes at 300 degrees. I recommend it.  Fresh baked bread all the time?  Yes, please.

The best part of making your own bread is being able to say, "Yeah, I make my own bread.  That is how I roll":):)

One Loaf:

1t active dry yeast
3c all purpose flour
1c bread flour
ft granulated sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2c olive oil
handful of cornmeal

1. In your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine 1.5c tepid water and the yeast and let sit for 30 seconds.  Dump the flours, sugar, and salt into the water.  Turn the mixer on low.  When the dough is still kind of shaggy looking drizzle in the olive oil.  Keep the mixer on low and let it knead the dough for 5 minutes. 

Due to the high amount of olive oil used my dough was just kind of sloshing around in the mixer bowl.   But once I added a little extra flour it came together.

If the dough is too wet add a couple tablespoons of ap flour.  If it is too dry add a tablespoon or two of water.

2.  Spray a bowl with nonstick cooking spray.  Transfer the dough to this bowl and drape it with a damp cloth.  Place it in the oven (not turned on) with the oven light on.  Let it proof for 3 hours.

3.  Flour your hand and your work surface lightly.  Turn the dough onto the work surface and press the dough into a 8 inch square using your hand.  Fold the bottom of the square to the center.  Then fold the top of the square to the center.  Press the seam firmly.  Fold the right side to the center.  Now fold the left side to the center.  Press the seam firmly.  Using a tucking motion make it into a 6 inch square. 

4.  Take a baking sheet and sprinkle the cornmeal on it.  Now take the bread and put it on the baking sheet.  Generously cover the dough with some flour.  Cover completely with the damp cloth and some plastic wrap.    And place back in the oven for one hour.  

5.  Remove the dough from the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the cloth and plastic wrap.  Using all your fingers press and poke the dough till you have elongated it into a square log that is 10inches long, 8 inches wide, and 2 inches tall.  Place the baking sheet with dough on the center rack and back for 45 minutes turning halfway through.  Make sure the bottom is browned before taking out.  Place on cooling rack for 30 minutes.

6. Enjoy!!

Recipe from Flour, Too (you NEED this cookbook in your life).