Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I have always loved looking at foccacia bread in the grocery store, but I never purchased any. The frugal side of me thought I could make a fresher one for less. I never got around to searching for a good recipe. When I was reading through the April/May 2008 issue of Hallmark Magazine, I saw a recipe and tore it out. Finally I got around to making it this week. First up the recipe:

4 - 4 1/3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
sea salt
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups ice-cold water I forgot to put ice in the water and used cold water from the tap.
1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs (oregano, basil, dill, thyme, sage) I threw in parsley and rosemary as well.
Olive oil
Coarse cornmeal

1. In a medium bowl, combine four cups of the flour, 2 teaspoons sea salt, the yeast, cold water, and 1/4 cup of the mixed herbs, and stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, kneading in up to 1/3 cup flour if needed. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Generously oil the paper and lightly sprinkle with cornmeal.

3. On a lightly floured work surface, gently stretch the dough to the size of the baking sheet. Place on the baking sheet, cover loosely with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

4. Preheat the over to 425 degrees. Brush the bread with oil and dimple it every 3 inches by poking with a finger. Sprinkle with sea salt and remaining 1/4 cup herbs.

5. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp.

Here is my mix of herbs prior to chopping.

The dough prior to going into the refrigerator. I used a large glass mixing bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. In my mind I had images of it rising out of the bowl and all into the fridge.

The dough after 24 hours in the refrigerator. The bowl was big enough! Whew!

This is the finished foccacia. I used a jelly roll pan (15" x 10") and it seemed to be a good size. The bread was still thick enough to slice in half for tomato sandwiches tonight. You could use a large cookie sheet without it being too thick.

A close up of the dimples and herbs

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