Focaccia Bread

Focaccia Bread

Delicious Focaccia bread with herb oil.  You will need at least 24 hours because the dough stands overnight.  You can also use any combination of herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, coriander and sage.

Ingredients for the Bread

5 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
50g yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water, luke warm
½-1 cup cup Herb Oil
Extra olive oil for the pan

For the Herb Oil

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano.  You can also use any combination of herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, coriander and sage.
1/2  tablespoon coarse salt
1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
3 fresh cloves, minced

Add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh herbs to the oil.  Add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir together and allow to stand while you prepare the dough. You can keep any leftover herb oil in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Directions

  1. Make the herb oil and let it stand. (Add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh herbs to the oil.  Add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir together.)
  2. Stir together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast to the warm water, add the oil and mix on low speed or by hand. Mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes or by hand, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. You may need to add additional flour to firm up the dough enough to clear the sides of the bowl, but the dough should still be quite soft and sticky.
  3. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter, dust liberally with flour, patting the dough into a rectangle. Wait 5 minutes for the dough to relax.
  4. Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size. Fold it, letter style, over itself to return it to a rectangular shape. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil, again dust with flour, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Let rest for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough again; mist with spray oil, dust with flour, and cover. After 30 minutes, repeat this one more time.
  6. Allow the covered dough to stand on the counter for 1 hour. It should swell but not necessarily double in size.
  7. Line a large sheet pan with baking parchment and drizzle the olive oil over the paper, and spread it with y our hands or a brush to cover the surface. Lightly oil your hands and, using a plastic or metal pastry scraper, lift the dough and transfer it to the sheet pan, maintaining the rectangular shape as much as possible.
  8. Spoon half of the herb oil over the dough (the other half will go on before baking). Use your fingertips to dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan simultaneously, ensure that the entire surface is coated with oil.
  9. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or for up to 3 days).
  10. Remove the pan from the refrigerator 3 hours before baking. Drizzle additional herb oil over the surface and dimple it in. Cover the pan with plastic and proof the dough at room temperature for 3 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  11. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C.
  12. Place the pan in the oven. Lower the oven setting to 220 degrees C and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking the focaccia for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it begins to turn a light golden brown. The internal temperature of the dough should register above 200 degrees F (measured in the center).
  13. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack.
  14. Allow the focaccia to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing or serving.

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