Herb and Garlic Focaccia Recipe
For centuries, bread has played an important part in fine cooking. It was the same with my dear old dad, from baguettes for fancy dinners to whole wheat for sandwiches. My father also made focaccia to serve at dinnertime. Focaccia has been served with cooked meats, fish, and especially with pasta.
Speaking of pasta, focaccia, like other Italian delicacies, has been a special part of my life. In addition to having it for dinner with my father, there was also the time I went to my friend Vinny’s graduation from SVA. What followed was a delicious Italian feast, focaccia included. I ate it with hot rigatoni pasta, and when I did, it was like tasting Italian culture. Focaccia is as delicious as garlic bread, which is also best served with chicken parmesan, as well as pasta.
My father serves foods from cultures of all kinds, and focaccia is a wonderful addition to any Italian dinner.
It’s amazing to snack on focaccia when having dinner with my father. He also uses it to make pizza.
So I would like to share one of my dad’s special recipes with you, which is herb and garlic focaccia bread.
The ingredients needed are:
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 2 cups of lukewarm water
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 1 tbs olive oil, with extra for the bowl
- 3/4 tsp coarse (kosher) salt
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour, with extra for kneading
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 or 2 stalks of rosemary
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup of olive oil, with extra for the pan
- Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper for tasting
The recipe is as follows:
- Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well, then let stand for five minutes until the yeast starts to get foamy.
- Add the oil, salt, and 1 cup of flour and mix it all together. Stir in three more cups of flour. As soon as the dough is nice and thick, put it onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and flexible for about 10 minutes. All the while, add enough flour to keep it from getting sticky.
- Clean out the bowl and coat the inside with olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and put it in a warm, draft-free area. Leave for about 1 1/2 hours to let it rise.
- Punch the dough down and let rise again, covered, for about another 1 1/4 hours.
- To make the topping, put the thyme leaves, garlic cloves, and 3/4 cup of oil into a blender. Add a pinch of rosemary and process until the herbs and garlic are nicely chopped.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a 15″ x 12″ x 1″ pan thoroughly.
- Press the dough into the pan and cover it with the towel. Let rise for about 35 minutes. The dough is ready when you press an indent into it and it stays.
- Make rows of indents in the dough with your fingers. Spread the herb, garlic, and oil mixture to completely cover it. Add salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until the focaccia is nicely golden brown, puffed up, and aromatic. Serve hot from the oven or at room temperature.
Hope you enjoy it!