Focaccia Bread with Sundried Tomatoes
I love bread. I love making bread. Now that I have started making bread at home, I wonder how I never dared to try this before. All the apprehensions about using the yeast, kneading and rising were some of the things that held me back. But once I started, I feel it is not so difficult after all. The process is certainly time consuming, but most of the time is waiting. You hardly need 20-25 mins for the preparations. And let me tell you, the final outcome is well worth the time and effort!
I loved Italian bread the moment I tasted it. I wanted to make some at home and thought of focaccia. Focaccia is a relatively flat bread, which can be topped with herbs or anything else of your choice. Some of these include herbs, onions, any kind of peppers, tomatoes, cheese, ham, pancetta, prosciutto and many many more. You could use anything you like. Here I used sun dried tomatoes, green peppers, onions and sliced cherry peppers. I do not like my bread too thin, so I made this a little thick. You could adjust the thickness according to your liking. I guess this would also make a nice pizza base. Simple to make and delicious to eat! This bread tasted great as a toast. Also good for making sandwiches. So what are we waiting for?? Lets go to the recipe. This is the original recipe. I have made some changes, and it still tastes absolutely divine.
All Purpose four – 2 3/4 cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp
Active dry yeast – 1 tbsp
Garlic powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
Water – 1 1/8 cup
Olive oil – 3 tbsp
Sun dried tomato halves – 6
Green pepper(thinly sliced) – 2 tbsp
Onion(thinly sliced) – 2 tbsp
Sliced cherry peppers – 8-10 slices
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil and water.
- When the dough has pulled together, it will not be very sticky, a rather stiff but soft dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
- Punch dough down. Place this on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with some semolina or cornmeal. Pat into a 1/2 to 1 inch thick rectangle.
- Now dimple the top with your fingers. Use four fingers and dig through to the bottom of the dough. Do this all over the top of the dough. Brush top with olive oil. Rest for 30 mins.
- Top with your favorite toppings, I used sun dried tomatoes, onions, green pepper and pickled cherry peppers. Sprinkle some salt on the top. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- I read somewhere that if you place a tray with hot water in the oven while baking this bread, it stays nice and moist. I didn’t see any harm in doing it, so I placed a tray with some hot water on the top rack and put the tray with bread on the lowest rack. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Isn’t that gorgeous?? I know I know