“The coolest things in life are things that you have not done before. That’s the key to life: new things always. “- Afrojack.
In my little over a year of blogging , this is my first bread post ! I haven’t forayed much into savoury baking – on and off the blog. Blame it on a tad bit of yeastophobia or the impatience to wait through provings . But some encouraging nudging from some of you has made me want to explore this part of baking as well . And I rarely turn down an opportunity to try something new.
This no-knead foccacia from the Bake or Break blog caught my eye last week and it seemed the perfect recipe to get my feet wet . It’s so simple and the result is quite gratifying .If like me you are a newbie breadie , this recipe is a good place to start. Hell, even if you are a regular bread baker , you will want to give this a try.
Focaccia is basically an Italian flat bread. It is rustic in nature and soft in texture. It could be any shape but is usually baked in a rectangular or oblong form. It can be topped with a variety of toppings like herbs, veggies , cheese or meat . It is typically sliced into fingers and served alongside dipping oil or salads.
This recipe needs quite a bit of yeast and like most focaccia , quite a bit of oil. I did try to reduce the oil but it was a pain trying to get it out of the pan after baking. Olive oil is ofcourse the traditional choice. But I ran out of it on my second try with this and used regular oil. Know what . It tasted not very different. I hope the bread connoisseurs don’t pound on me.. no-knead foccacia with regular oil. For committing bread plasbhemy !
But no apologies. The foccacia was super soft and delicious. And I am all for baking hacks when they turn out this good!
- 220 grams or 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 and half teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 180 ml or 3/4 cup warm water.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion and 5-6 olives sliced thin- for the topping
- 2 tablespoons olive oil - for the pan and topping
- Grease a 8 inch pan with oil.Spread one tablespoon oil well on the bottom.
- Heat the water so that it is lukewarm. (You should be able to put your finger in for 5 seconds. It should be too hot to keep it in any longer . A thermometer shoild show between 95 and 115 degrees)
- Mix the warm water with the sugar and yeast. Keep aside for few minutes to froth.
- After the yeast gets activated , add the flour , salt , and oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
- It's a sticky dough but if it looks too wet and sticky , add up to two tablespoons flour more and mix in.
- Spread the dough on your prepared pan spreading it almost till the edges.
- Cover and keep aside for an hour to rise.
- Meanwhile , preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F.
- After the resting time , stretch the dough to the corners of your pan if needed.
- Put a little oil in your fingers and press 4 to 5 holes in rows , spacing them out equally.
- Drizzle one tablespoon oil on top.
- Spread your toppings and press down slightly.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Cool for few minutes .
- Using a knife, nudge the sides off the pan and lift the bread out. Or slice in pan and serve !
- This can be stored for 2 days. The crust will harden slightly.
- I browned my onions a little bit in oil in a pan before using.This is optional.
- Other options of topping - garlic , cheese, tomatoes ,dried or fresh herbs ,pepper , salt , sliced vegetables, meat.
- if you have trouble getting the bread out of the pan , let it cool and then gently release the sides and try to slide a knife under.
- If you don't want to use a square pan, you can spread the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and follow the rest of the recipe for a more rustic looking focaccia.
The foccacia turned out really good. Fluffy and light. Its quick , it’s simple and bread doesn’t seem so scary anymore!