Focaccia Bread – The Perfect Fancy Sandwich And Traditional Appetizer
by: Mary Walsh
Focaccia bread is a staple in classic Italian meals. It is best enjoyed with olives, herbs, tomatoes (sun-dried) and cheese. You could also eat it by itself as a meal or as an appetizer.
Focaccia bread is made from basic bread dough used in making pizza crusts. It is said to have originated from the time of the Etruscans from North Italy. Some believe that Focaccia originated in Ancient Greece, during the beginning of the first millennium before Christ. The word Focaccia itself is a direct derivation from the Roman term panis focacius.
The recipe for Focaccia bread has spread to other regions, including the Middle East. The practice of dipping Focaccia into soups and vinegar started during the Roman times. At that time, it proved to be a cheap but filling meal for most people.
At present, Focaccia bread has its own dip made out of vinegar and is usually served as appetizer. The difference lies in its preparation. The dough transforms into Focaccia bread after adding toppings. Also, you could make your homemade Focaccia bread according to your tastes and preferences.
You are free to add little bits of herbs and cheese for that light flavor. However, you might want to add more toppings if you're wanting something more fully-flavored.
Here are the ingredients that you will need to create the basic dough:
1 tbsp/1 pkg of active dry yeast
1 tbsp of sugar
1- 1/3 c of water (hot)
2 tbsps of olive oil
3-1/2 - 4 c of flour (all-purpose)
2 tsps of salt
For the toppings, you'll need the following:
1/2 c of olive oil
Tomatoes (sun-dried), sliced
Olives or onions (caramelized)
2 tbsps of cheese (either Parmesan, Romano or Asiago); grated
1/4 tsp of salt (coarse)
2 tsps of fresh herbs or 1 tsp of dried herbs, either thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil or dill
Create your bread dough by dissolving yeast with hot water. Let stand for five minutes. Mix together all your ingredients for your bread dough inside a big bowl. Stir the ingredients together until the mixture becomes stiff and sticky.
Flatten the mixture into a flat & floured board/surface then knead steadily for ten minutes. Cut dough into half then shape each dough piece to a roll measuring 1/2 inch thick. Put the pieces into well-oiled cake pans and cover with plastic/serran wrap.
Let dough rise for an hour and thirty minutes. Preheat the oven up to about 400 deg. Fahrenheit. When your dough doubles in size, press firmly into cake pans and create indentations throughout your risen dough. Put the ½ cup of olive oil lightly into your dough. Then, add in your toppings afterwards.
Place dough into the oven and bake it for around 25-30 minutes. Make sure that your dough turns golden & brown. After baking, take bread out & let cool before serving.