Even though I love baking with yeast – it has been very kind to me and I have hardly had any failures – I try to restrict working on it. I think I will blame it on lack of time. Even though I love the process of seeing a tiny dough bloat up into double or triple the size, I don’t have the patience to wait for it. 😀 Only if I have enough time at hand (which is never enough for me in reality! 😕 ) do I go ahead with baking with yeast. That explains why I have very limited yeasted bakes, and I feel ashamed to say that I am yet to try my hands at baking a home made loaf of bread. 🙁
But I have baked this delicious Focaccia studded with olives and sprinkled with Italian herbs a few times. Why? Just because the kids love them. I am surprised that I got a thumbs up for a savory bake, especially Azza who kept coming back for more and more of it. The bread is delicious by itself, or can be accompanied by a soup and salad for a filling meal. I have tried this bread with whole wheat and definitely didn’t like it as much as I love this one, so will keep trying till I find a healthier alternative. The bread uses quite a bit of olive oil, and the flavor that it gives to the bread is amazing. I have only added olives as topping but you can add some capsicum roundrels, sliced onions, round tomatoes, about anything on top to make it more colorful and delicious too. Off to the recipe…
Recipe adapted from here
- 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup olive oil divided into 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/8 cup
- Mixed herbs 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes + 1/4 tsp dried basil + 1/4 tsp dried oregano + 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- Sliced black olives as required
- In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, add the dry ingredients - from yeast to flour and whisk well.
- Add in the water and keep the mixer on meduim high till the dough comes together to a sticky mass.
- As the mixer runs, slowly add in 1/4 cup olive oil as three additions. With each addition, you will notice the dough becoming gloppy but after sometime, the oil will get absorbed into the dough. Continue to run the mixer till the dough has totally absorbed the oil and has become a smooth, shiny and stretchy.
- Transfer to a well oiled large bowl and set aside to double, around one to one and a half hour.
- After proofing, punch down the dough and knead lightly for a couple of minutes.
- In a baking tray, spread 1/8 cup of olive oil.
- Transfer the dough and spread on the tray to equal thickness. In between flip the dough, so that both the sides get covered with the oil.
- Make pinches on the top by pressing in your fingers.
- Cover and allow it to double in size, for another hour.
- In the remaining 1/8 cup oil, whisk in the mixed herbs well.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees.
- Brush the top of the bread with the herb oil. Sprinkle some sliced black olives and press in.
- Bake for 20 minutes till top is golden brown.
- Take out and serve warm as is or with some soup.