Fast Focaccia

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia Bread

This is my "go-to" bread for so many things!  It's perfect in a bread basket right out of the oven, as the basis for a panini, and even split, toasted and filled with egg and cheese for breakfast!  That is the beauty of this particular bread, second only to the speed of itspreparation.  The ingredients all go into the bowl of a mixer, are mixed for half a minute, then the dough is spread into a prepared pan to rise and bake.  A great basic recipe to have in your culinary back pocket!

12 ounces warm water

1 1/4ounces olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 Tablespoon instant yeast

15 ounces all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

2 teaspoons dried Italian or all-purpose herb mix for sprinkling

1 Tablespoon coarse salt for sprinkling

Grease a 9 X 13-inch pan with olive oil and line the bottom only with parchment paper, cut to fit.  Oil the parchment.  (Non-stick spray can be used, just coat the pan and parchment heavily.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer placed on a kitchen scale weigh the water, oil, sugar, yeast, flour, then salt into the bowl. (If you have a tare function on the scale, this is so fast!  Just hit tare after each addition and then proceed to the next ingredient.)   Mix until well combined on low speed, then beat at medium-high speed for about 30 seconds.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and pat into an even layer with well-oiled hands. 

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for about an hour, or until the dough has puffed up all over.  Oil the fingers of one hand and make indentations evenly over the top of the dough (about 4 X 6 for a total of 24), being careful to only go partially into the dough, not completely to the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with dried herbs (Italian, all-purpose) and then with coarse salt.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, until it is a deep golden brown all over.  Let set in the pan for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the perimeter and flip out onto a cooling rack.  Remove the parchment and flip over.  Serve immediately or cool on the rack and wrap tightly in plastic wrap to use later.

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