My attempt at making Focaccia was not just successful, it came out so good that we finished the bread even before I could take a photograph of how it looked like inside! I made a Rosemary Thyme Focaccia. Not an easy one I must say, 'coz if you need to make this you may have to plan in advance a day ahead.
Prepare the dough:
1 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
Prepare the dough the night before you make the focaccia for the next day. Mix active dry yeast in warm water with sugar and salt and leave it for 5 minutes. Once its completely dissolved and looks frothy, add in the all-purpose flour and whisk. It would look sticky and messy. Form a sticky dough and leave it covered with a cling film overnight. You may either leave it in the refrigerator or outside in a dry warm place. I kept mine outside.
Prepare the herb oil:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh Rosemary leaves
1 tbsp fresh Thyme
1 tbsp fresh Parsley
1 tbsp Italian oregano seasoning
Salt to taste
Finely chop the herbs. Warm the olive oil and add the herbs into the oil. Allow the flavors to blend well. I made mine overnight. You can add pretty much anything that suits your taste. Add garlic flakes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, I added a dash of chilly flakes to mine as we love spice.
Prepare the focaccia:
1 cup of all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
Herbed olive oil
The next morning, you should see that the dough has doubled in size and will give a yeasty smell as you remove the cling film. Punch it down and add another 1 cup of all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour along with 3 tbsp olive oil and mix gently. Fold the dough. The dough will now take a better shape. It will leave the sides, but stick to the bottom. That's how we want. Adjust the salt. Next transfer the dough to the baking dish, gently pull it on all sides using your hands and make a half inch layered flat dough. Leave it to rise for an hour.
After an hour, the dough would rise. Using the fingertips, gently dimple the dough and spread the spiced oil over it and into the pockets. Make sure that we don't dig too deep. We want leave the air pockets for a softer bread. Bake in oven for an hour at 350 degrees or till the top looks golden brown. As the bread goes through the baking process, you can feel the aroma of the baked bread rising through the air making your home smell like a bakery! Serve warm as is or with garlic butter. I think the next time I bake, I'll make sure I have a bigger batch going into the oven!