Robyn’s Bread Machine Focaccia
Focaccia is probably my favorite bread, both to make and to eat. This is the recipe I use. I make it in a Zojirushi bread machine; your mileage may vary.
For the bread:
1 cup water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil (The fruitier the better. Focaccia is an oily bread, and the olive oil contributes to the flavor.)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
For the topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella
Ignore your bread maker manufacturer’s instructions about what order to add the ingredients. Do it this way instead:
Set the bread machine on whatever cycle the manufacturer recommends for making dough.
Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of water. The water needs to be at 120° F–130° F (49° C–55° C), and most bread machines don’t preheat that high. Let the water and yeast mixture sit for about ten minutes.
When the yeast mixture is ready (it will usually foam a bit at this point), add the olive oil, then pour the combined mixture into the bread machine.
Add the flour, salt, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper to the yeast and oil mixture in the bread machine.
When the machine lets you know that the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly oiled baking pan. (NOTE: the dough will be very sticky at this point, so flour your hands before trying to handle it.) Using your hands, spread the dough until it fills the pan. You want it to be about 1/2 inch high at this point, so it probably will not fill the pan completely. This will give it room to expand during the next rise. Cover it with a slightly damp towel.
Warm your oven to its lowest setting and set the pan with the dough inside. Let it rise for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven at the end of that time.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Remove the towel from the dough and brush top with the olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
I adapted this recipe from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/focaccia-bread/ and modified it for the bread machine. I have tried many different recipes for focaccia, and this is the one I like the best. You can add or subtract any toppings you like; I didn’t have any mozarella the first time I baked it, but I had some grated mild cheddar which worked well.
I’m going to continue to experiment with this recipe, and hope to come up with a whole-wheat version.
Store the bread in a sealed plastic bag or container; it also keeps very well in the freezer (although if you’re fussy like me, you hate frozen bread!).
You can also divide the dough into two batches and make two “mini-focaccia” loaves from this. My wife isn’t a big bread lover, so this is what I do, and give the second loaf to our daughter. See? There are advantages and disadvantages to having your kids leave home!
English Muffin Bread
My wife, Stacey, isn’t big on eating bread. She does, however, enjoy an English muffin from time to time. Since I love to bake bread, I’ve hit upon the perfect compromise: English Muffin Bread. The first time I made it, I halved the recipe. But it turned out to be so good, that I made it again, this time using the full recipe. Stacey enjoyed it both ways, and it has become one of my favorites for both baking and eating.
Here’s the recipe, the original of which is from Taste of Home:
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups warm milk (120° to 130°)
- 1/2 cup warm water (120° to 130°)
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add warm milk and water; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on high for 3 minutes.
- Stir in remaining flour (batter will be stiff). Do not knead. Grease two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Sprinkle pans with cornmeal. Spoon batter into the pans and sprinkle cornmeal on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Slice and toast. Yield: 2 loaves. If Cooking for Two: Freeze one loaf to enjoy weeks later.
I use my bread machine to do all the mixing and kneading. I then put the dough into the bread pans for the second rise and baking. Cheating? Maybe. But it gives me more time for blogging!