warm bread, fresh from the oven!
Homemade bread turns even the most simple meal into a celebration. Your family and friends will think that you have been in the kitchen all day. No need to tell them our secret!
Focaccia is one of my favorite breads to bake. It is an easy bread for first-time bread bakers and tasteful enough for experienced bakers.
Bread baking tips:
- Check the yeast’s expiration date.
- Proof the yeast with 1 t. sugar and warm water. The water temperature should be between 105º – 110º for proofing. A temperature over 110º will kill the yeast!
- After mixing and kneading the dough, place it a lightly oiled bowl. Roll the dough around a bit to cover all of the sides with the oil.
- Cover with a clean towel. Set aside for the first rise.
- For the first rise, place in a draft-free, warm place until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- The internal temperature of lean loaves of baked bread should be 190º. Heavier loaves of bread, enriched with milk, eggs, or oil should bake to internal temperature of 200º.
Making bread is so great fun! Focaccia is an Italian bread made with fresh rosemary and extra-virgin olive oil. It is delicious with chicken, fish, and pasta dishes.
- 1 1/4 cup warm water (not over 110º)
- 2 1/4 t. yeast (1 package)
- 1 t. sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 t. salt
- 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 t. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle on top
- 1-2 t. coarse salt
In a 2-cup Pyrex® liquid measuring cup, add the water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine; set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.
In the bowl of an electric mixture, add the flour, salt, olive oil, rosemary, and the yeast/water mixture.
With the dough hook, combine until the mixture is smooth, gently stirring the sides; knead for 3 to 4 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, add the dough, turn to coat, and cover with a clean kitchen towel; set aside for one hour.
Turn the dough out on a Silpat®-lined jelly roll pan. Press your fingers into the dough to leave holes everywhere. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary. Cover with a clean dish towel; set aside for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 440ºF.
Bake the Focaccio for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!