Monday, June 6, 2011

Herb & Garlic Focaccia

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So, this is promising to be a crazy week for me. I figured I'd get a post out before the storm hits. An amazing amount of work for my clients makes me doubt whether I'll post for the rest of the week. I hope I can though!

On to this post. If you read my 'Firsts' post, you will remember how I pigged out on focaccia at the restaurant I reviewed. This week I decided to make one at home, and pig out on it in the privacy of my own home. And man, did I pig out!

I was very pleased with the outcome. The top & bottom crusts were crispy & golden, and the center was soft and extremely flavorful.

The only thing I didn't understand was why the top crust of my focaccia came out with cracks all over it. Too much olive oil? If anyone knows, I would love to know why! But the cracks didn't affect anything. I was still able to get nice wedges, as you can see, and the flavor was fabulous! I also recently bought some really nice Welsh sea salt which was fabulous sprinkled over the top.


Here's the recipe I used, adapted from various recipes.

Herb & Garlic Focaccia
Ingredients
1 cup warm milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp mixed dry herbs (I used thyme & oregano)
1/2 tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
2 1/2 - 3 cups all purpose flour
For the topping
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp sea salt

Method
1. In a large bowl, mix the milk & sugar, and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside till creamy & frothy.
2. Stir in the olive oil, dried herbs, pepper and salt. Grate the garlic into the bowl using a Microplane fine grater, and stir well to combine.
3. Stir in about 1 cup of the flour and mix until smooth.
4. Add the remaining flour, half a cup at a time until you have a soft, and very slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too stiff, add a little milk or water to get the right texture.
5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
6. Form the dough into a smooth ball, and place in greased bowl & cover with greased clingfilm. Set in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
7. Knock down the dough, knead briefly and form into a disc about 9 inches wide.
8. Transfer the disc onto a greased, lightly floured baking sheet. With the tips of your fingers, cover the surface of the focaccia with small indents.
9. Brush the surface generously with olive oil, trying to fill those indents with oil. Sprinkle the rosemary and sea salt over the top of the focaccia.
10. Set aside for 15-20 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 180.
11. Bake the focaccia for 30-40 minutes or until golden. I brushed it lightly with olive oil twice during baking.
12. Remove from the oven, brush with the remaining olive oil, and serve.


I had some amazing white truffle olive oil which I used for the final brushing & that took the focaccia over the top for me! I ate 2 wedges straight out of the oven! The rosemary-sea salt topping was really great - I love how the baked rosemary leaves crumbled on my tongue, and the little bursts of flavor from the sea salt. It was a sublime experience!

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70 comments:

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

You are clever - I just get nervous with yeast!  this looks SO good - I would eat the entire loaf!
Mary

Briarrose said...

Oh this looks good and I bet is tasted amazing.  Beautiful job.

White truffle oil for brushing....nom!

In Katrina's Kitchen said...

LOL Pig out in the privacy of your own home!!  Mmmmm

Galexi Cupcakes said...

Foccacia bread is my favorite bread eva!!!!
Especially with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, and cracked pepper.. Yr killing me here. LOL

Three-Cookies said...

Looks really delicious. Cracks - dough not mixed properly? Anyway most important is that it tasted great and you could indulge in privacy:)

Amanda- The Sweet Details said...

oh this looks so good! like the stuff they serve while you what for your food in the good Italian restaurants!

Baking Serendipity said...

I love focaccia bread, but have never made my own. Yours looks so good! Thank you for the recipe :)

Maris Callahan said...

I cannot blame you. I could eat this whole loaf!

Lizzy Do said...

I made focaccia for the first time this Spring...and it wasn't nearly as successful as yours. I'll have to try again...your photos have me drooling!

Galexi Cupcakes said...

Foccacia bread is my favorite bread eva!!!!
Especially with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, and cracked pepper.. Yr killing me here. LOL

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Mary! I love working with yeast.. I hope you give it a shot! :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you :) It did taste really good! And the white truffle oil was brilliant, to say the least :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Yep :D That's exactly what I did... and it tasted so good! :D Thanks for stopping by...

theharriedcook said...

Oh but I mixed it like crazy! I am starting to suspect it's the milk in the recipe. I usually make it with water, but this is the first time I'm making it with milk. Will try the exact recipe with water and see how it turns out :) thanks! It did taste great :D Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Amanda! It turned out good :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your sweet comment :) I hope the recipe works out well for you! Thanks for stopping by :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Maris. It look quite a lot of stop myself from eating more... :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your very generous compliment, Lizzy! :) I really enjoyed making (and eating) focaccia... It was my second time making this. The first time was last week, but pictures were not taken because it was eaten up too quickly :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Oh Jackie... I wish your comment had shown up earlier, when there was a wedge of focaccia left. Then I would have raided the fridge and made myself a mozzarella-tomato-basil-pepper focaccia sandwich! Now they're all gone. Gotta bake another one soon :D LOL... Thanks for stopping by!

Manu said...

Ohhhh it looks so good!!!!!!  I haven't made focaccia in a long time (TOO long now that I read this post and I start to salivate!!!!)!  I don't remember using milk in my dough... but I'd need to check that.  The cracks may form as on Italian focaccia you brush the top with a a mixture of extra virgin olive oil AND water... that will keep it moist and should prevent cracking!  Try it next time, hopefully it will help! <3  Your still look delicious... cracks included! LOL 

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

With a gorgeous focaccia like this, how could you NOT eat the whole lot?  I can smell it from here.... hmmmm!

Peggy Labor said...

I definitely wouldn't mind the cracks - I think it gives the focaccia character =)  Sounds like a great recipe and can't wait to try it!

Myrna Chernick said...

Can't say what caused the cracks, but it looks absolutely scrumptious!  I've tried other focaccia recipes and they certainly didn't look this good.  I'll try yours and will let you know how it turned out=)

theharriedcook said...

Manu, when I posted this recipe, I was actually thinking - 'what would Manu say?' considering you are Italian :) Actually, I think it could have been the milk in the recipe that caused the cracking. But your tip makes perfect sense. I will do that the next time I bake a focaccia! Thanks for the tip :)

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Jill! It did smell pretty great :) It took quite a lot of self-control, believe me! :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Ah! I like the way you think. My focaccia has character :D The recipe was a pretty good one! Thanks for stopping by! :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Myrna! I hope it turns out great! :) I think it was the milk in the recipe that made it crack, but also gave it that beautiful golden color! Let me know how it goes! :)

Nami said...

Wow wow wow... Herb & garlic focaccia!!!  I can't believe you can bake bread when you think you are busy!  This looks so good Marsha!  I'm scared of yeast because I don't know if it rises....lol.  I love all kinds of "good" bread and you don't want me there.  I'll probably fight to get a last piece!  ;-)

theharriedcook said...

LOL :D Thank you, Nami. I like baking bread because it takes about 10 minutes to put together, then it rises by itself, doesn't need my help. Then again 5 minutes to put it into the oven, and take it out & it's done! :) And the kneading is pretty great as a stress-reliever too! LOL :D I would love to share a piece with you! Wish you lived closer :) Thanks for stopping by!

basilmomma said...

That looks great!!  I am going to try this :)  Thank you for linking up in my blog hop!

Kate@Diethood.com said...

Love this focaccia! It's got garlic in there! Beautiful recipe... I need to make this asap!

www.theculinarylens.com said...

I love foccaacia and using this as a starting point you can make a multitude of types

Kimby said...

Marsha, what a great blog you've got going!  I'm "hopping in" from basilmomma's blog, and will definitely be back!  Enjoyed your thoughts, your love of FOOD, and also your affinity for Alton Brown. :)  (My sister gave me his "Feasting On Asphalt" cookbook -- wish I could share it with you.)  Have fun "at the hop!" 

Lemons and Anchovies said...

I can almost smell the herb and garlic; I don't blame you for devouring this focaccia one bit.  I don't know the reason for the cracks but I'd say your bread turned out perfect anyway. 

Roxana GreenGirl said...

I can't say why the little cracks on top but the foccacia looks amazing. I have a weakness for herb and breads, I would definitely pigged  out the whole bread LOL

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Heather! I am so glad to have found your blog :) Thanks for stopping by here...

theharriedcook said...

I was actually apprehensive about the garlic, because most of the recipes I saw included garlic powder. I was afraid it would be overwhelming. But it wasn't at all! It was fabulous! :) Thanks for your kind comment & for stopping by :)

theharriedcook said...

You are so right! :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! :) I wish I could get my hands on an Alton Brown book, but I can't find anything in book stores here. I will have to look online I guess :) I look forward to visiting your blog! Thanks for stopping by :)

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your kind comment :) I think I will try the dough with water instead of milk the next time & see if that makes a difference. I have a sneaking suspicion that the milk is the culprit. But I love the soft crumb of milk-based breads! I could live with the cracks for such a tasty bread! :) Thank you for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Roxana! I came very close to eating the whole thing myself :) I didn't mind the cracks that much, but I was just curious about why they turned up! :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

Joyti said...

First focaccia...congrats. It looks really perfect, golden and light and I'm sure really delicious. And white truffle oil for brushing...yum.

Blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this looks just delicious:) thank you for sharing!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Joyti! :) This isn't really my first focaccia, but it is definitely my most successful focaccia :) The truffle oil was really yummy :) Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your kind comment :) Thanks for stopping by!

Frugal Antics said...

That bread is a think of beauty!  I could probably pig out on that whole loaf!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Kristen :) I pigged out on most of it! :) Thank you for stopping by!

Carolyn said...

I haven't baked enough foccacia in my day to tell you why it cracked, but it still looks pretty great to me!

Manu said...

Hi Marsha!  There is an award waiting for you, you can find it here: http://www.manusmenu.com/banana-pear-and-ginger-smoothie

theharriedcook said...

Thanks, Carolyn :) It did taste pretty good! Thanks for stopping by!

theharriedcook said...

Wow! Thank you, Manu! :) I will stop by!

spcookiequeen said...

I would have pigged out on this too.  Sound like your week is as busy as mine, don't work too hard.
-Gina-

theharriedcook said...

Awww, thanks, Gina! I wish I could take your advice and rest a little, but it's midnight where I am right now, and I have miles to go before I sleep! So much to get done, and a big deadline tomorrow. Thanks for your kind comment :) And thanks for stopping by!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Oh my goodness!!  I can nearly smell that thru my screen.  Absolutely a must try!  Not sure about the cracks... perhaps the dough was too dry?  I'm not sure on that one...

theharriedcook said...

Thank you, Kim! It really smelled awesome :) A must-try indeed! And about the cracks - nope, the dough was very soft and sticky. I think it was the milk. I'm going to make it with water the next time, and I'll know! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Wow! That focaccia bread looks amazing. I could just eat the whole thing. The texture of focaccia is what draws me in and it looks picture perfect in my book. New to your blog and just followed. So glad I found it! Just been looking over all your recipes and they are all divine! Divine I tell you! 

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Oh would love for you to come visit if you get a chance. I also have a great infused olive oil giveaway going on! 
www.kitchenbelleicious.com

Sherri@FoodBasics101 said...

Hello Marsha! I found you
through Basilmomma's Blog Hop. I'm lovin' your Herb and Garlic Bread. Have a great day!
Sherri



http://www.FoodBasics101.com


Facebook-
http://tinyurl.com/3nd53r4

Terris(FreeEatsFood) said...

Oh, I have been known to eat a whole batch of focaccia bread to myself so I completely understand!  This looks too good and the white truffle oil must have really taken it to the next level!  Wow.

Nami said...

Quick quesiton...so when you make bread, do you have to stay at home until you are done making bread?  I know it rises naturally but...what if I leave it?  I assume you have to come back to it at certain time... So all I need is a whole morning or whole afternoon that I stay home...

theharriedcook said...

Well, I guess you could step out during the first rise, at least for an hour or an hour and a half, but for the second rise @83c1a6a3e3b4130132435b8c97e770b1  the baking, you would have to be around. If you leave the bread rising for too long, it would overproof and the bread won't very well during the bake. And yes, one morning or afternoon would be enough, because most (but not all) bread recipes call for only one long rise, and one short rise just before baking. Will email you some more information! :)Thanks for stopping by, Nami!

theharriedcook said...

Thank you for your kind comment :) The cracks bothered me at first, but I got over it once I tasted it... Thanks for the follow... I look forward to visiting your site! Thanks for the follow... :)

theharriedcook said...

Will come over & check it out :) Thanks again!

theharriedcook said...

Hi Sherri! Thank you for stopping by :) I look forward to visiting your blog soon!

theharriedcook said...

Ah! A kindred spirit :) Yes, I could easily eat a whole batch myself :) The truffle oil on it was divine! Thanks for stopping by & commenting :)

Foodness Gracious said...

Awesome looking blog and excited to follow, maybe not enough olive oil on the bread I know foccacia just soaks it up and in my opinion you can never have enough of the golden liquid...just a thought.

theharriedcook said...

Hi :) Thanks for stopping by! I guess that is a possibility... I will know the next time I bake a focaccia :) Thanks again :)

Nami said...

Wow wow wow... Herb & garlic focaccia!!!  I can't believe you can bake bread when you think you are busy!  This looks so good Marsha!  I'm scared of yeast because I don't know if it rises....lol.  I love all kinds of "good" bread and you don't want me there.  I'll probably fight to get a last piece!  ;-)

Jen-Eighty MPH Mom said...

Oh my goodness...this looks fantastic! I'll bet the sea salt gives it that extra "oomph"!

Preeti said...

Hi...I tried this one out today...and it was awesome ! This is the first recipe I've tried from your blog...and am looking forward to trying out more...

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