Hey guys! Been a while since we’ve done bread, amirite? And listen, if you haven’t made bread before, or if you’re having issues making bread at high-altitude, focaccia is a great place to start. It’s simple, and even though you’ve got to commit a lot of rise time, it’s easy! Plus, if you don’t want your kitchen to smell like fresh bread, I just don’t know if I even know you anymore.
Focaccia is a chewy, fragrant bread that is often packed with herbs and topped with a salt and olive oil before baking. It’s the kind of bread you can serve alongside pasta, or just as an appetizer. Or if you’re like me, you might eat the whole loaf before bread as a cook’s snack-type-situation. I’m not sorry.
Bread can be really difficult at high-altitude. But luckily recipes like this, (and the similar no-knead crusty-loaf breads) are super easy to adapt, and to work with in general. It’s a great intro to bread making. The dough is super simple, with few ingredients at it’s base, and you simple stir everything together until a wet dough has formed in your bowl. Here’s what that looks like:
After you’ve put the dough together, go ahead and cover your bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to rise. This is a lengthy process- there’s not much yeast in the recipe. Plus, the longer rise helps to develop the flavors, and create the chew that we all know and love. You’ll want to let the dough rise in the fridge for 8-12 hours, which can easily be done overnight. Here’s what it should look like when you’re ready to move forward:
From there, lightly oil a 9-inch cake pan with olive oil. Place the dough into the pan, and drizzle the top generously with more olive oil. Cover the dough, and let it rest for about 20 minutes while you preheat your oven.
Then, go ahead and use your fingers to press the dough down and create those little dimples with your fingers in the dough. Oil can pool up in these areas, and it gives the bread even more of that fruity olive oil flavor in the end! Sprinkle the top with a little bit of salt as well.
You want to bake this bread at a pretty high temp- 425- until it’s golden brown and toasty on top.
And that’s it. You don’t have to go through a lengthy kneading process, or really even worry much about getting anything exactly right. This dough is so simple that it really is fail-proof. You’re going to end up with beautiful bread no matter what! Enjoy!
In a small bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Set aside to let the mixture bloom and become foamy.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, rosemary, and thyme until combined. Once the yeast mixture is just foamy, pour it into the dry ingredients and stir together with a spatula until a wet dough forms.
Cover the dough tightly in plastic wrap (using the same bowl) and place in the fridge to rise for 8-12 hours, or until the mixture is puffy, has bubbles, and has grown dramatically in size.
Lightly grease a 9 inch cake pan with about 1 tbs. of the olive oil. Place the dough in the pan, and cover with plastic to let the dough rest for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Once the dough is rested, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the dough, and use your finger to press the dough out to the edges of the pan, creating dimples all over the top of the dough. Lightly sprinkle some salt over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until the top is a medium golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before serving warm. Enjoy!