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There’s something magical about the simplicity of a loaf of bread, but when it comes to the Italian classic, Focaccia, magic reaches new heights. With its tantalizing aroma, golden crust, and airy interior, Rustic Focaccia Bread has captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide.
Focaccia’s generous size and inviting appearance make it an ideal bread for sharing with family and friends. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering, a potluck, or a cozy dinner, a freshly baked Rustic Focaccia loaf is sure to impress your guests.
The charm of Rustic Focaccia lies in its simplicity. The key ingredients include:
- Flour: High-quality bread flour is essential for that perfect chewy texture. You can experiment with whole-grain flours for added nuttiness.
- Water: Water helps create a light and airy texture in the focaccia.
- Yeast: Active dry yeast or instant yeast can be used to leaven the dough and give it that characteristic rise.
- Olive Oil: Authentic Focaccia calls for generous amounts of extra-virgin olive oil, adding richness and flavor.
- Salt: A dash of salt enhances the overall taste and helps control the fermentation process.
- Toppings: Classic Focaccia is adorned with toppings like rosemary, sea salt, olives, cherry tomatoes, or onions. Feel free to get creative and add your favorite toppings.
Once your Rustic Focaccia is out of the oven, let it cool slightly before cutting it into squares or slices. Serve it warm or at room temperature, alongside a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Focaccia pairs wonderfully with soups, salads, pasta dishes, or even enjoyed on its own as a delightful snack.
Rustic Focaccia Bread encapsulates the essence of Italian cuisine, with its simplicity and deliciousness making it a favorite around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, baking this delightful bread is a gratifying experience that will leave you craving for more. So why not embark on your Focaccia journey and savor the joy of creating this Italian masterpiece in the comfort of your home? Happy baking!
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 1/2 c lukewarm water
- 5 c (625 g) all-purpose flour
- 5 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for hands
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 2–4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- In a large mixing bowl, combine active dry yeast, honey, and water. Whisk together to combine ingredients completely. Let the yeast bloom for 10 minutes.
- Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and mix with a spatula until you have a wet, shaggy dough.
- Pour the 4 Tbsp olive oil to the sides of the bowl. Make sure both sides of the dough is coated in oil.
- Cover in plastic wrap and let rise for 8 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. If you're in a rush, place in a warm place for 3-4 hours to rise.
- Use 2 Tbsp butter generously coat a 13x9 rimmed baking pan.
- Pour 1 Tbsp olive oil in the center.
- While the dough is in the bowl, bring the farthest edge of the dough into the center. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this process for all 4 sides.
- Transfer the dough to the center of the pan and add any oil leftover in the bowl to coat the dough.
- Let rise in an uncovered area for 2-3 hours. I placed mine in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- To see if the dough is ready, poke it with your finger. It should spring back slowly, leaving a small visible indentation. If it springs back quickly, the dough isn’t ready. (If at this point the dough is ready to bake but you aren’t, you can chill it up to 1 hour.)
- Lightly oil your hands. If using a rimmed baking sheet, gently stretch out dough to fill.
- Dimple focaccia all over with your fingers, like you’re aggressively playing the piano, creating very deep depressions in the dough.
- Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake focaccia until puffed and golden brown all over, 20–30 minutes.
- Melt 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add in the grated garlic and let bloom for 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and stir in the dried parsley.
- Brush garlic-butter all over focaccia and slice into squares or rectangles.
Focaccia is served best the day it is made. If you have leftovers and want to warm it up, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat and place focaccia slices on top.
Sprinkle water on each slice and bake for 10 minutes. Serve right away.
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