High gluten flour, lots of olive oil, a dash of herbs, salt, water, yeast – knead it, rest it, bake it and then eat it and enjoy with a glass of nice wine. Platter of cheese is optional. Focaccia is the bread lover’s perfect bread.
The trick to making great focaccia is to use good quality olive oil, extra virgin preferably , and to ensure you make a lot of dimples with your finger tips in the dough after the second rise.
Then you must immediately drizzle olive oil into those dimples . The oil gets absorbed in the bread during baking and the resulting bread is flavorful with a crisp crust. The bread stays airy from within, making it a very tasty eating experience.
It is also important that you invite friends over or have your kids around when you bake Focaccia. It is very likely that you may end up eating more than a fair share of bread if you are all by yourself. The wine does not count as company even though on days it is the perfect one! How do I know this? From experience of course! Believe me! The sessions in the gym will be gruesome. So share the love and calories :))
Though I bake focaccia often, I never topped it with anything more than rosemary, herbs or some olives and sun-dried tomatoes every once a while. I usually bake it with just sea salt and olive oil and eat it straight out of the oven. This time, however, was different.
Aparna chose the Focaccia caprese as the bread for “We Knead to Bake” project. I really had a lot of fun making the Focaccia Caprese with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. Needless to say it was delightful to eat as well.
Recipe Source :- The Kitchen Whisperer
For the Dough:
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 Tbs Vital Gluten
- 3 medium tomatoes thinly sliced
- Half a mozzarella roll
- 8- 10 fresh basil leaves
For the Herbed Oil:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic/ paste
- Salt to taste
Make the Herbed oil
Mix all ingredients for the herbed oil and keep aside until you need them
Make the dough
Put the yeast, sugar flour, salt and oil in the bowl a stand mixer and stir to mix. Then add 1 cup of warm water and knead until you have a soft elastic dough that is just short of sticky. You may need to add in more water if your dough appears dry.
Remove the dough from the mixer, shape into a round and place in back in the bowl of the stand mixer after oiling it well. Cover and let it rise till almost double in volume.
Punch the dough back a little and divide into two. Transfer the dough onto baking sheets. Using your fingers and push each portion of the dough to spread it out.
Ensure it is evenly thick.
Cover and let it rise for 20 minutes. Lightly oil your finger tips and press into the dough creating evenly spaced “dimples” in it. Generously brush the surface with herbed oil.
Bake in a heated oven at 410F for 20 minutes . Then take the Focaccia out and turn up the heat of your oven to 450* F
Lightly drizzle some of the Herbed Oil over the Focaccia and then arrange the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella on the bread.
To make the Roulade (optional)
Place the roll of the mozzarella on the working table and open it up. Then place basil and tomatoes on top. Start folding in from one end and roll it up like a cigar. ensure you are rolling it tightly. Then cut into thin slices. Arrange those slices on the bread.
Otherwise place thin slices of mozzarella and tomatoes on the bread followed by basil.
Drizzle some more Herbed Oil over the topping and return the bread to the oven. Bake the Focaccia for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has just melted. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves.