If you’ve been trotting along with the various bread recipes that I’ve been sharing, you’ve made very little bother oat bread for sandwiches, special loaves of potato buttermilk, hot dog and hamburger buns for summer cookouts, beer bread with cinnamon butter for steak night, a warm slice of cinnamon raisin swirl bread for breakfast and six different types of dinner rolls to suit the different flavors of meals they would accompany.
Each of these recipes are made by hand with natural ingredients. There’s nothing used that our great-grandparents couldn’t use 60 years ago.
And since each recipe calls for ingredients you would normally have in your pantry, you’re only out a quarter or so each loaf. If you only made each recipe once (not including all the variations of dinner rolls), you’ve already saved over $30.
Today folks, you can add focaccia to your repertoire and save another $7.
Focaccia is a type of flat bread, kinda like a thick, dense pizza. Many of us know it best as an option when we’re ordering sandwiches from a local shop, but it’s way too easy to make at home to ever buy again.
In fact, it’s even easier than the very little bother oat bread.
I guess you could call this the incredibly very little bother focaccia.
Like pizza, focaccia is often topped with olive oil, seasonings and a sprinkle of cheese. You can mop up tortilla soup with a nice thick slice of jalapeno cheddar (which we will be doing next week), or you can slice a large piece of rosemary Parmesan in half and make a killer beef pesto Panini (like we did last week).
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
Sea salt for topping
Herbs and Cheese for Topping (optional, see variations below)
Combine yeast and warm water in a bowl and allow it to bloom.
Add the remaining ingredients and knead by hand or with a mixer until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. Place each piece into an oiled 9″ x 9″ glass pan. Gently push and punch the round of dough so that it reaches each corner and edge of the pan. Repeat for the second pan.
Cover with a towel and allow to rise is a warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over the top of each loaf and gently spread using clean fingers or a brush to cover the entire surface. Add sea salt and any other desired toppings and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and surface.
Remove pans from the oven; remove bread from the pans and allow to cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking.
There’s one little tidbit of this recipe that makes it so very awesome, and if I share it, I’m officially jumping off the edge of the geek cliff and there’s no turning back.
So here I go without a parachute!
Once the dough is mixed, it rises in the pan it will be baked in.
Seemingly unimportant, but this means you can still use your mixing bowl while the dough rises!
If I’m spending a good bit of time in the kitchen, I like to maximize it. Extra chopping, prepping future meals, baking ahead. Having my mixing bowl available is HUGE. No longer does progress in the kitchen have to come to a halt because of a bowl!
See, geek-mania, lol.
This loaf as written is delicious, but just like the dinner rolls, you can tailor the recipe to suit your taste buds.
- Garlic & Basil – top with chopped fresh or roasted garlic and a generous sprinkle of dried basil
- Cheddar – top each loaf with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar (sharp works best)
- Rosemary & Parmesan – top each loaf with shredded parmesan and a generous sprinkle of dried rosemary
- Jalapeño Cheddar – before baking, top each loaf with 1-2 slices of fresh jalapeño pepper and 1/4 Tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese