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simple focaccia bread

I’m always really excited to learn how to make new kinds of bread. I’ve tried so many different bread recipes… white bread, wheat bread, french bread, baguettes, biscuits, tortillas, bagels, etc. And guess what? I love all of them. Well, now we can add focaccia bread to the list! I have wanted to make focaccia for a long time, but a lot of the recipes I’ve found have been too time-consuming or complicated. Not that it’s never worth it to invest the time and energy in a complicated recipe, but I wanted something easier and simpler that I could make on a weeknight. And this recipe is perfect! Start to finish, it took a little over an hour, and it tasted great. Seriously, the smell of the olive oil, garlic, and basil cooking together on the stove was heavenly. Even picky Abby came into the kitchen and asked what that amazing smell was! This bread is the perfect side for an Italian meal… I think it would be awesome alongside a pasta dish, or an Italian soup. Yum! And stay tuned tomorrow for another great recipe using this focaccia bread!

Simple Focaccia Bread
adapted from Inspired Taste

1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 envelope)
1/4 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, combine olive oil, garlic, basil, and pepper. Turn heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir to combine, and let sit five minutes, or until bubbly. Mix in 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup of the olive oil mixture. Stir to combine and let sit another five minutes. Mix in remaining flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Knead gently a few times until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise about one hour. (To make things quicker, I preheated the oven for one minute, turned it off, and then put my bowl in the warm oven for about 30 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 450. Use two tablespoons of the olive oil mixture to grease a 9×13 pan. Spread the bread dough out evenly in the pan, and use our fingers to make indents all over the dough. Pour the remaining oil over the top and spread evenly. Let rise 10-15 minutes, then bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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