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Focaccia bread

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This recipe makes 2 - 9” X 13” loaves of Focaccia Bread. You may freeze one of the dough balls by wrapping it in several layers of plastic wrap. When you are ready to bake it just place it on your counter for about 1 hour to thaw. Then proceed as before. You can customize this to your own tastes. Add herbs, top with spices, tomatoes, olives, cheese, pepperoni, any combination you like. Or if you desire make it sweet by topping with blueberries and cream cheese or cinnamon and sugar. This is only limited by your imagination. Below is the recipe for Italian herb Focaccia Bread with parmesan cheese.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups warm water not hot

4 cups white flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 tablespoons dry Italian herb mix

1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

4 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil approximately

Pre heat the oven to 450 F

Place the yeast and water in a large bowl and stir until fully blended. Let rest for 5 minutes. Or until yeast is bubbly.

Add the flour, salt, 2 tablespoons Italian herbs, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the yeast mixture and mix until a dough ball has formed. The dough should be moist but not sticky.

Remove the dough and on a lightly floured surface knead it for 8 – 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place into a large lightly oiled bowl. Rotate until all sides of the dough have a light coating of oil.

Cover with a damp clean cloth and place in a warm draft free place to rise until double in size about 2 hours. I like to place my dough on top of the heated oven. It is draft free and warm.

When the dough is double in size punch it down and cut into 2 equal pieces. Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil into both 9” X 13” baking sheets. On a very lightly floured surface roll each piece of dough into a rectangle 6” X 10” roughly.

Place dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Using your fingertips poke dents into the top of the dough about 1” apart. Sprinkle the dough with the remaining herbs and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Cover the dough with a damp warm cloth and allow them to rise for 30 minutes in a warm draft free area.

Now very lightly drizzle or mist olive oil over the dough.

Place dough in the oven and at the same time reduce the oven temperature to 375F.

Allow to bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Check often in the last 10 minutes of cooking time. It is ready when the top is golden brown. 

Remove the Focaccia Bread from the oven. Place onto a cooling rack to cool slightly.

Focaccia is best eaten when warm.

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