Foolproof Focaccia

psst...it's vegan, too!

It’s almost that time again, people – it’s the weekend that bros and ladybros across the United States have been waiting for: Superbowl Sunday! I’m sure that you are all as excited as I am, in that I am not really all that excited about the game itself. In all honesty, I don’t understand football. Like, at all. I have no idea how the scoring works, but I do know what touchdowns are important. I do, however, love everything that goes along with the Superbowl. You get to drink beer, eat wings and nachos, yell, and hang out with all your pals. It’s basically a Friendsgiving, isn’t it? Kramer and I are meeting up with some friends at The Warsaw this year for Roberta’s Superbowl party. We were able to reserve a table, and as long as I can sit down every once in a while, I’m happy. I’m even happier that there will be wings. It is surprisingly hard to find good wings in Williamsburg. There’s Lodge, but that’s about it, unless anyone has any suggestions? Other than that, we really have no big plans for the weekend. I may have to call the place we bought our new couch from and harass them. We still haven’t gotten it delivered and we bought it over three weeks ago! Hopefully we can get it soon, I am so sick of sitting on your old, sagging-in-the-middle couch. I demand the utmost level of comfort! My life is so hard.

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I imagine that our new couch will be like this focaccia bread: soft, fluffy, and with a hint of zest (okay, maybe not that last part). I’m now a full-fledged bread baker. You can call yourself that after you’ve made three loaves of bread, right? I thought so. It seems to be that Italian breads are much easier to make than their fussy French brethren. I was so happy with the way this focaccia turned out, I made two more batches already. You just have to knead it for 10 minutes at the beginning, then after that, it’s all about just letting it do its thing and rise. This bread makes an excellent vessel for olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but you can make it into a pizza or bake it like this and slice it for big, delicious sandwiches. I added a spice mixture on top of salt, rosemary, pepper flakes, and the like, but you can do sweet or savory – I’d imagine that a cinnamon sugar combination would be a big hit, or even something with a little more heat, like cayenne and adobo chile. I was a little nervous about this bread at first, I’ll admit; my yeast didn’t foam up as nicely as I would have hoped, but I am impatient, so I went ahead and kept baking anyway, knowing full well that I might be ruining everything because the yeast needs to foam, if my cookbooks have taught me anything. I threw caution to the wind, though (look at me being so adventurous), and pushed on. The focaccia turned out beautifully, though. I sat in front of the oven for the first 10 minutes, worrying and watching it rise, but as soon as I saw it get all puffy and pretty, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. This makes me believe this truly is a foolproof focaccia recipe. I’m a lazy kneader, too, and just used my mixer for most of this – it turned out lovely, with lots of little bubbles and a delicate crust on top. Everything is always better when you knead it by hand, though, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have a mixer. Just go for it! You’ll thank me later. Maybe you’ll even get brave and make this for your Superbowl party? Go forth and bake bread, people!


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Making focaccia could not be easier! Just bring together your dough, place it in an oiled bowl and allow it to rise, then spread it onto a baking sheet, then let it rise once more before sprinkling with salt, herbs, spices, or whatever you like!

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Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden and set.

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Allow the bread to cool, then slice and serve.

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This focaccia will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.

Foolproof Focaccia
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 5-6 people as an appetizer/side
 

Easy, homemade focaccia bread with minimal kneading.
Ingredients
For the bread:
  • 2 cups warm (about 115 degrees F) water
  • 2¼ teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
For the topping:
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crused red pepper flakes

Instructions
  1. Combine your water and yeast in a large mixing bowl, stir once, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so, until the mixture has foamed. Mine actually didn’t foam that well, honestly…I let it sit for 20 minutes with mediocre foaming results, but I am impatient so I went ahead with this recipe and it still turned out great! So as long as the texture changes a bit, you should be alright (so long as your yeast isn’t a year old).
  2. Add in 3½ cups of your flour, along with your sugar, salt, and olive oil. Knead by hand or with your dough hook for 8-10 minutes, until very well combined and beginning to look smooth, then add in the remaining 1 cup of flour very slowly. Knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from your hands (AKA becomes less sticky) or the sides of your mixing bowl. Place the dough in a large, well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a cloth towel (this helps the bowl to retain heat and allows the bread to rise), and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. After the first rising period, coat a baking sheet (standard size baking sheets are 10×15-inches) well with oil, then punch the dough down and remove it from the bowl. Use your fingers to spread it out as evenly as possible over the sheet (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Cover the sheet again with a cloth, then allow it to rise for an additional 45 minutes, until puffy looking.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. When you are ready to bake, make dents in the bread all over with your knuckle (but don’t make them so far down that you touch the baking tray through the bread), then drizzle 1½ tablespoons of olive oil evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with your combined spices, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and set. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and dipping in olive oil, spreading with butter, or making into sandwiches or pizza!

 

46 Responses

  1. Ida D. says:

    I can’t wait. I have made the other two breads you have posted, so I will become a bread baker too! You make it so easy with your step by step instructions and pictures. Thank you!

  2. oooooh. My mom used to make focaccia all the time when I was little. We’d typically eat most of it immediately, leaving a few scraps for dipping in soup. Love the spices you put on top. Next time add olives and then just try not to eat it all immediately. I dare you.

  3. Emily D. says:

    I’m so happy you’re posting so much bread lately. Making bread makes me feel sort of like a super hero. BreadGirl! maybe?

  4. I’m with you: I really only “watch” the Super Bowl so I have an excuse to drink and eat snacks. ;)

  5. Shannon says:

    Something is wonky with the website. I can’t click on the pin this recipe button, because it’s covered by the stuff on the left, and I can’t actually see much of what I’m typing because it too is being covered by the stuff on the left. Thought you’d like to know!

  6. I just made a 1 hour whole wheat vegan pizza dough and foccacia or naan was on my short list to tackle next. Thanks for this gorgeous recipe! I want to dig in now!

  7. Corry says:

    You are a star. I’m doing an Italian themed dinner party on Sunday and was in the process of trawling through bread recipes when this landed in my inbox.
    Any good ideas for Italian vegetarian canapés? Im stuck on mozzarella, olives and tomatoes, thinking about doing pesto palmiers and bruschetta too but I don’t want to be too carb heavy as the starter and main are pretty carb loaded. Any ideas gratefully received from you or your readers.

    • Sydney says:

      Thank you so much, Corry! :) You really made my day. What about an olive tapanade or a beet tapenade on crackers, even just antipasti, like nice cheeses, marinated olives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted artichokes, roasted mushrooms, put out on a platter with toothpicks to spear ‘em. Or maybe toasts with goat cheese, honey, and walnuts drizzled on top, or a warm bean salad? Have a lovely dinner party!

  8. liz says:

    love the sound of a “foolproof” bread…I’m totally with you; I always forge ahead even if my yeast isn’t as foamy as I think it should be. 9 times out of 10, it works out. I’ve had my eye out for a foccacia recipe that doesn’t require bread flour…thanks!

  9. It looks so moist and spongy! OMG, and it’s vegan! Will have to make paninis for me and the fiance with this recipe. Thanks Sydney!

  10. Deb says:

    Great weekend recipe! There is nothing better than the smell of homemade bread! Perfect to serve with the classic Super Bowl dish is spicy chili!

  11. Camille says:

    excellent, i’m going to try this tonight :-) a while ago, i was surprised you didn’t have a focaccia recipe, but now it’s here! you read my mind!

    keep up the great work! you’re my go-to blogger for delicious baked goods :-)

  12. Will have to give this a recipe a go, I love Turkish bread. I thought it would have more oil in the dough.
    Freshly toasted Turkish bread dunked in oil and dukka is the ultimate snack.

  13. I need to get back to bread baking. My mouth is watering at this bready masterpiece! Focaccia may be my favorite bread. I know slightly more about football but not much. I’m looking forward to the commercials and halftime.

  14. jenny says:

    I made your homemade “wonder bread” last week, and it was PERFECT, so I’m sure this will be, too. my mouth is watering just looking at it. I especially love the idea of making sandwiches on this!

    • jenny says:

      oh, and one little tip? I always put a pinch of sugar in with my yeast and water. the sugar helps activate the yeast–makes for quicker foaming. and the pinch of sugar is minimal enough that it won’t affect the flavor of the recipe. :)

  15. Look at those beautiful bubbles! It is so pretty. I would make this in a heart beat!

  16. Sarah says:

    Garlic powder in the topping – I have never thought of that before. I might have to give that a red hot go.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    The first (and last) time I made focaccia it turned out pretty awful. This recipe looks so much better! I especially love the crumb and holes the bread made. I must try it soon…

  18. Your focaccia looks so nice and soft, unlike the bricks I just saw at the supermarket. Good homemade bread is such a win win.

  19. [...] to make something savoury and at least somewhat healthy. This focaccia used the basic recipe from crepesofwrath, though instead of the spice mix I topped it with garlic, fresh rosemary and cherry tomatoes. [...]

  20. Vegan foccacia? Yes and yes! Congrats on being nominated for the Homies, go go go!

  21. [...] Foolproof Focaccia. We all need such recipes. [...]

  22. [...] I’m sure that some crusty bread alongside this soup would be a welcome addition; we ate it with my focaccia. [...]

  23. YUM. I’m obsessed with break baking lately, and focaccia dipped in olive oil is my favorite! Can’t wait to try this!

  24. Lynna says:

    I`m scared of kneading and working with yeast, too. LOL. But the minimal kneading is tempting me to give this a try. :)

  25. [...] Foolproof (Vegan) Focaccia from Crepes of Wrath A great little bread recipe from a blog I happily follow. I find myself [...]

  26. Sydnei says:

    I really enjoy your blog! I made this Focaccia a few days ago just for the fun of it. My family RAVED over it, there was none left that night and they were begging me to make more.

  27. Meemz says:

    Your focaccia looks amazing. Can I use instant yeast instead?

  28. Mary R says:

    Ok I know late party of one, but making bread not in a bread machine with YEAST scared me. But we were out of bread and I just didnt feel going to the store in the snow with my baby so I sucked it up and made this bread. OMG it was easy and oh so yummy! My yeast didnt foam very well either.
    I made it so it would be ready right before I started dinner so with dinner I put a few pieces under the broiler with some butter and parmesan cheese on it. My boyfriend’s brother said “this stuff is better then the bread you get at a pizza place!” Then he proceeded to try and con my boyfriend into not eating any of the bread so he could have it all. I will be making it again soon!

  29. Catherine says:

    I love this bread! Very yummy …. But- it didn’t get browned on top … I finally took it out after 25 minutes. Still good – just no brown crust. Any advice? All other stages – including sudsy first step – went just as you said …. Maybe not enough olive oil on top before baking??

  30. [...] recipe I used was from the always reliable “Crepes of Wrath” and was very simple.   If [...]

  31. Christopher says:

    Yeast is not vegan.

    • Amarand says:

      Pure yeast, itself, is vegan. Certain preparations of yeast are not.

      http://tinyurl.com/yeastvegan

      “Yeast, like mushrooms, are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the Fungi kingdom, which in layman’s terms means that yeast is not derived from animal products or classified as an animal and is thus vegan-friendly.”

      This recipe, by the way, is incredible!

  32. katrina says:

    i made this tonight and it was lovely! the dough was super sticky but i guess it’s supposed to be like that? anyway it is delicious!!

  33. […] This Crepes of Wrath focaccia turned out awesome. I really enjoyed my cheese sandwich for breakfast this morning! Making bread is kinda cool but I certainly miss my mom’s KitchenAid mixer with dough hook for sure. Especially for this one because the dough was suuuuuper sticky! […]

  34. […] sausages, baby potatoes and corn. Kramer and I think that this was our best barbecue yet. I made focaccia, biscuits, chocolate chip cookies and brownies to go along with it, and added with the chicken, […]

  35. Amanda K says:

    Great recipe! My yeast did not foam, had to add extra flour bc it was so sticky, only waited around 30 minutes for the last rising period, and I baked for 25+ mins…..but it turned out amazing.

  36. Claire says:

    This is a great bread recipe! I recently moved from arid Southern California to sticky Miami, and my bread-making skills have been severely challenged. My old trusty focaccia recipe somehow became a nightmare due to the new climate; so I have been on a quest for something delicious, tasty, and – yes – foolproof.

    This one is a winner, guys. I did add an extra cup of flour since my dough seemed too sticky, but I will try the recipe as-is next time. I also found the baking time more 20-25 rather than 15-20 minutes.

    Here’s what I love about this focaccia:

    1.) It’s super fluffy
    2.) The mixer does the work
    3.) Anything goes when it comes to the seasonings on top
    4.) It gets me compliments (c’mon…that’s why we bake in the first place, am I wrong?).

    Great stuff and way easy. Thanks for sharing!

  37. […] Creamy Broccoli Soup (from Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly, pg 34), Focaccia Bread and Marbled Banana […]

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