Most requested Italian Recipe! Dalla cucina italiana…Buon Appettito!!!
A thick airy crust that can be served warm or cold. Very simple to make and can be prepared by hand, or with a kitchen mixer by using the bread hook and setting the mixer on stir in 5 minutes. The dough rises only for 1 hour and is ready for toppings and to placed in the oven where it takes only 15 minutes to bake!
Ingredients needed: Flour, Sugar, Water, Milk, Boiled Potato, Salt, Olive Oil, Butter, Yeast. Those in the states will likely use Dry/ Dry Active Yeast, while in Europe Fresh Yeast (beer yeast) is more readily available. I using Fresh Yeast skip to part two.
FYI: Careful to not combine hot milk or salt directly to the yeast as they will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise.
Part One In a bowl combine together with a fork the following ingredients and allow the starter dough to sponge for 20 minutes.
- 1 package dry yeast ( for 1 cube beer yeast se recipe below as yeast is mixed directly in to flour with no preparation)
- 1/3 cup warm water ( room temperature to 110 F or 43 C)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp sugar
The yeast mixture should have bubbled and increased in size.
Peel and boil 1 small potato, allow to cool. Mash with a fork. The potato
provides extra levitation to the dough and gives a nice crunch to the crust. Potato to be added in Part Two.
- Yeast Starter or 1 cube fresh beer yeast crumbled,
- 2 ¼ cup flour (500 grams)
- 1 Potato, peeled, boiled, mashed (optional)
- 1 c warm milk (110 F or 43 C) (or may substitute with water)
- 1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in large bowl: Yeast, Flour, Potato, Milk, Salt May use dough hook, kneading for 5 minutes, or knead by hand. Knead dough until texture of dough is supple and elastic, not sticky, for about 5 minutes. With a small amount of oil on your hands gently spread the oil onto dough ball, place into a large bowl and loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap, setting aside in a warm area to rise for 1 hours.
Part Three Pre-Heat oven to 425 F
Generously grease cookie sheet with 1 tsp of butter.
Place risen dough onto cookie sheet and extend dough into any round or square form.
- Traditional Preparation: halved cherry tomatoes, inverted and gently pushed into extended dough. Sprinkle on top of dough: 1/8 tsp oregano, 1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt, 1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, Drizzle ¼ cup Olive Oil.
- Try Focaccia with sliced onions spread over dough and gently pressed into dough with fingers. Add 1/8 tsp Oregano, 1/8 teaspoon Rosemary, 1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt, 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
Bake in preheated oven at 425 F for 15 minutes. Before serving drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over Focaccia for extra flavor.
By Kimberly Crocker