Focaccia, the popularly known Italian bread has been on To-Bake wish list for some time and finally baked it for the World Bread day which is being celebrated today and I’m very much happy with the result. I had been postponing to bake this bread for a long time as I was not sure whether my kids would love a savory bread. Though they love the stuffed buns a lot I was rather doubtful.
As for as Hubby is concerned Breads are a sick man’s diet and I have not succeeded in proving him otherwise in all these years. And in case the kids declined I did not want to be the one to end up cleaning the whole loaf. There are lots of versions out there, be it the ingredients added to the bread flour or the toppings but I just had an instinct in my mind and followed it and ended up with this lovely flavorful bread.
I wonder why I even thought my kids would not like it. I did not even have the time to slice it and click. All I was allowed was a few snaps with the tin while the bread had to cool. It just disappeared within minutes with tomato sauce for company. Arjun kept sniffing the air while the bread was baking and was asking me repeatedly when it will get over that I lost count.
I mixed half the caramelized onions along with the flour and sprinkled the rest on top of the bread which provided a sweet tinge and crunch along with the spices used. The next time I’m all in for doubling this recipe with some tomatoes, olives and fresh Italian herbs thrown in, if I’m lucky enough to get them.
As it was cloudy on the day I chose to make this bread, it took 3 hours for the dough to double up and also there was power cut as well and I was keeping my fingers crossed for the sun to come out to click some decent pictures. Luckily both the electricity and Sun came on time and saved my effort.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Rest Time: 1-1/2 Hours
Bake Time: 30 Minutes
- All Purpose Flour – 2-1/2 Cups
- Active Dry Yeast – 1-1/4 tsp
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Olive oil – 4 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Italian Seasoning – 1/4 tsp
- Garlic powder – 1/4 tsp
- Onion powder – 1/4 tsp
- Coriander leaves, chopped – 3 tbsp
- Caramelized Onion – 3 tbsp
- Milk (for brushing) – 1 tbsp
Proofing the yeast:
1. Microwave the water in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the dry yeast over the water and stir vigorously till it somewhat dissolves and becomes a pasty texture. Cover and keep aside for 10 Minutes. (I kept the bowl in the microwave itself).
2. After 10 minutes when it has frothed add 3 tbsp of olive oil, mix gently and keep aside.
For the Focaccia:
3. In a big mixing bowl tip in flour, salt, red chilli powder, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well with your finger tips.
4. Add the developed yeast solution and bring everything together till they form into a dough. Knead for 8-10 minutes till the dough is smooth to the touch.
5. Smear olive oil all over the dough and place it in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or cling wrap and let it rest for 1-2 hours or till it doubles in a warm place.
6. Punch the dough to release the air and place the dough in a greased baking tin. Cover and let it once more rest for another 1/2 hour.
7. Make a few dimples on top the dough’s surface with your finger. Brush the top with olive oil and top with caramelized onions and few coriander sprigs.
8. Bake in a pre heated oven @ 200 Deg Celsius for 30 minutes or till the top becomes golden brown.
9. Take the tin out and brush the top with milk to prevent the crust from hardening.
10. Cool for 5 minutes. Slice and serve hot with tomato sauce.
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Toppings can be of your choice with any fresh or dry herbs, olives etc.,
You can also brush the top with egg to get a dark golden crust.
Use any other vegetable oil or melted butter in place of olive oil.
The red chilli powder, garlic and onion powder used in this recipe are optional. You can also make the focaccia without using any of them.
You can also replace 1 cup whole wheat flour with the all purpose flour but the bread will be a bit dense.
Oven timings will vary accordingly.