UPDATE: For an updated post about this fabulous bread with much better photos, go here.
I was at Panera Bread ostensibly studying when I started craving the Frontega Chicken Sandwich, which is made with focaccia bread. In order to avoid spending money there, I decided to make my own focaccia bread at home. Before leaving, I started looking for recipes online and found a recipe from a blog called Joyful Abode that only required 2 hours of my time. The other recipes required that the dough be placed in the refrigerator overnight, and I wanted the bread tonight to accompany my spaghetti and meatballs.
Since I wanted a chewier texture, I kneaded the dough in the stand mixer (my mom gave me one for Christmas! Thanks, mom!) even though the recipe doesn’t require it. Unfortunately, my oven overheats so I cooked the bread a little too long (fewer than 20 minutes when the recipe calls for 30 mins). Nevertheless, it tasted great! It was soft on the top and had a nice crunchy texture on the bottom.
I definitely plan to use this recipe again after I try the more labor-intensive ones. Next time, I will stand by the oven after 10 minutes of baking.
1 1/2 cups of warm (110 degrees Fahrenheit) water
4 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4 tsp salt (I use kosher)
3 Tbsp olive oil (you will need about 2-3 more tablespoons later, too)
Dissolve yeast in the warm water. I place the yeast water in the stand mixer. After a few minutes, I place the other ingredients on top, or you can do it separately and then bring them together. Place all-purpose flour, salt, and olive oil on top of the yeast-water in the mixer. Beat it on high for about a 1 to 1.5 minutes. The dough will be sticky. Dip your fingers in olive oil to handle the dough easily. Drizzle your jelly roll pan with some olive oil and brush it all around. Use a cookie sheet with sides or a half-sheet cake pan. Scoop the dough into the pan and pat it around until lightly. Do not expect to fill the pan completely at this point; it will rise and expand. Cover it with PAN-SPRAYED cling wrap (so that the cling wrap won’t stick to the dough), and let it rise for an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pizza seasoning: In a small bowl, mix the following together: Parmesan cheese, onion powder, garlic salt, oregano, and basil (or you could use Italian seasoning to replace the oregano and basil). Once your dough has risen, use your fingers to make little holes all over it and poke the dough. Then drizzle it with olive oil and top with your pizza seasoning and rosemary flakes. Stick it in the preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.