If I could choose my last meal here on earth, it would probably be a basket of bread and butter. Is that weird? I hope we can all agree bread is the greatest guilty pleasure for us all.
I love focaccia. You can bake it thin or thick. You can have it on the side with olive oil or butter. You can use it as sandwich bread or as toast for your eggs in the morning. You can really have it however you like it. It wonderful and fairly easy compared to other breads. I’m no bread magician so when I say this is easy and low maintenance… I mean it. The most you’ll have to do is let it rise a few times. The waiting is really the worst part. But once it’s risen, all you have to do is stick it in the oven and let it do its thing.
I baked mine super thick. Mainly because I wouldn’t find my larger longer baking dish. So I made do with what I had and baked it anyways. Feel free to use a larger baking dish to make a thinner focaccia. With a larger dish, means the cooking time will differ slightly, so keep that in mind while cooking.
ROSEMARY THYME FOCACCIA
Prep time: 7 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 7 hours + 30 minutes
Serves: 9-12 individual pieces of bread
- 2.5 cups warm water
- 1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only
- 6.5 cups all purpose flour
- Flaky sea salt
- Place the water and yeast into a stand mixer and let activate for a few minutes, or until yeast is foamy in texture. Fit the stand mixer with with the hook attachment.
- Add the olive oil, salt, 1 tbsp rosemary, and thyme to the water and yeast mixture. Start the mixer on low speed and slowly add in the flour till completely incorporated.
- Turn the mixer to medium high speed and mix for about 8 minutes. The dough should be sticky but not too sticky that you can’t work with it. If it’s too sticky slowly add a little flour till it reaches the right consistency.
- Once done mixing, kneed the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for an hour.
- After and hour, punch the dough. Roll it into a ball again and allow to rise for 2 hours while covered.
- Punch the dough again and let it rise for another 2 hours while covered.
- After the third rise is complete, punch the dough once more to deflate it.
- Flour a clean flat surface and dump the dough out.
- Cover a large baking dish with parchment paper. I used a 9×13. You may use a large dish if you desire a thinner bread. Stretch the dough out so that is forms to the shape of the dish.
- Cover dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour till it enlarges by a third.
- After the final rise, use your fingers to press down into the dough…making small shallow dimples all across the dough.
- Drizzle the top with a couple tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle on the remaining rosemary and cover with flaky sea salt.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cook for about 35 minutes. Once done, the bread should be cooked through and the top should be golden in color.
- Enjoy hot with butter or olive oil and balsamic.