A flavourful and easy-to-make flat bread commonly topped with herbs, tomatoes and olives that can serve as a great side to many meals as well as an appetizer.
Tomato, Olive and Herb Focaccia Bread
3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 Tbsp liquid honey
2 1/4 tsp dry active instant yeast (1 packet)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (can sub 1/2 cup with whole wheat or spelt flour)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried basil, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried basil, crumbled
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary leaves
1/5 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
1 tomato, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp black olives, sliced
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
Ensure the yeast is active. To ensure the yeast is working and active, warm 1 1/2 cups of water to 110 degrees Fahrenheit with help using a meat or candy thermometer.
Stir in 1 tablespoons of honey to give the yeast something to eat, and then stir in the yeast. Gently stir, cover and allow the ingredients to proof for 10 minutes; a foamy top should form up to an equal amount of the liquid. If no or very little foam appears than the yeast is not active. Now that the yeast has been proofed, stir in the olive oil.
Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl combine the flour, sea salt, and seasonings together which include the garlic powder, basil, oregano and onion powder.
Add the yeast and knead the dough. Slowly add the active yeast and water mixture to the flour mixture, and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Let the dough rise. Form the dough into a ball and lightly apply some olive oil to the outside of it. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Empty the oven and then turn the oven on to bake for just 1 minute only to warm it up then turn the oven off. Turn on the oven light to keep the oven mildly warm. Place the bowl with the dough in the warmed oven, and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Roll out risen dough. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air bubbles. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface evenly into an oval or rectangular shape about 1 to 2 inches thick; depending on how thick or thin you like your focaccia bread.
Let the dough rise again. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil and then transfer over the dough. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm oven. The oven light should allow some warmth; otherwise oven can be turned on again for just 1 minute then turned off again to warm slightly. After the dough has risen, cover the top of the dough with fingertip depressions to create a dimpled texture.
Prepare toppings for bread. In a small bowl pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mince the garlic cloves and add to the bowl of olive oil. Add the basil, oregano, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper to the olive oil and combine. Thinly slice a tomato, discarding the top and then set aside. Slice the olives if necessary and also set aside. Grate the parmesan and mozzarella cheese and set aside in a bowl.
Dress the dough with toppings. With a basting brush, rub the olive oil mixture across the top of the risen dimpled dough. Next evenly distribute the olives and the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the parmesan followed by the shredded mozzarella evenly over the dough.
Bake the dough. Bake the dough at 400 degrees F. for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Cut bread into pieces and serve. Enjoy.
Recipe shared by: J. Marshall
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