So, what's French Focaccia Bread? It's what happens when you discover leftover French Bread dough in the fridge and decide to throw a few ingredients at it that I normally add to an Italian bread like foccacia. The result was a very flavorful, crispy, chewy bread that would be perfect beside any number of things from a great lasagna or other pasta to a simple great salad for lunch...and it looks gorgeous on the table too!
Makes 2 large breads. Each serves about 8.
4 cups flour (for whole wheat focaccia use 2 cups of white flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour)2 cups lukewarm water
1 tbsp instant yeast
2tsp sea salt
Add all ingredients except 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Using the dough hook on your electric mixer, mix together well and allow to run on low speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be loose and sticky but don't worry about that, just allow it to rise in a warm spot for a couple of hours or more before turning it out into a bread board and kneading in the other 1 cup of flour by hand. You may have to use a little more or a little less flour depending factors like local humidity.
Divide into two portions and roll out into about 10 inch rounds. Push into the dough:
cherry tomato halves
pitted kalamata olives
Brush the entire surface of the dough with garlic olive oil (Garlic Olive Oil recipe here) then sprinkl;e over the entire surface
fresh thyme or chopped fresh rosemary
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Allow the dough to rise on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet until doubled in size. Bake in a very hot oven fromn 425 - 450 degrees for about a half hour or until evenly golden brown.
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