Focaccia Bread with Olives and Rosemary

Focaccia with olives and rosemary

I am going to share a rustic yeast based bread recipe from the land of Italy today. It’s the Focaccia al rosmarino – Focaccia bread with rosemary, and I added olives too. I love the rustic bread they serve as a starter in Italian restaurants. Be it the ciabatta bread or this focaccia; we love it with a generous drizzle of Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. (I know ciabatta is more for sandwiches) You can serve this focaccia as a starter along with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or you can serve this as a side for soups and stews.

To put in simple words, Focaccia is flat Italian bread with different toppings.  It’s pretty similar in style and texture to pizza doughs, but it’s comparatively crunchier as we add a lot of olive oil here. Oh yeah, olive oil drizzle before baking makes a huge difference. :-)  This time the dough raised double in 1.5 hours.

Focaccia with olives and rosemary

As I mentioned in the challah bread, planning plays a significant role in bread baking. Focaccia recipe also calls for two raises, and in fact, I saw few recipes where they let the bread to rise thrice for the rustic crust. But I went with just two rises. After adding the yeast and forming the dough, I let the dough rise once double in size and then before baking I let it rise for 20 minutes.  I still got a rustic crust, and we were happy with the result. You can bake this bread in your preferred shaped glassware. I went with this rectangular shape, but you can even use your round cake pans. :-)

I used canned olives and dried rosemary for the topping. I have tons of rosemary bushes in my front yard, and those are Tuscan Blue rosemary variety, and I have never tried them in my cooking. Before adding those to my bread recipe, I wanted to try them in soups and potatoes to know their taste better. As Rosemary has the stronger flavor, I did not dare to experiment my fresh one with this recipe and hence went with the dried ones.

Recap before the recipe:

Focaccia with Rosemary and Olives

 

Ingredients:

For yeast proofing:

  • Lukewarm water – 1/4 cup
  • Sugar – a pinch
  • Active dry yeast – 1 packet  or 2 1/4 tsp

Other Ingredients for the bread:

  • All-purpose flour – 4 cups + for during if required while kneading
  • Water – 1.5 cups
  • Olive Oil – 3 tbsps. + for greasing the bowl and bakeware
  • Salt – 2 tsps.
  • Sliced Olives – ¼ cup
  • Dried Rosemary – 2 tsps

Steps:

Yeast Proofing:

  • Add the sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, the water will be bubbly and frothy. (In parallel sieve the dough as mentioned below)
  • After 10 minutes, mix it nicely.
  • The yeast mixture is ready.

Preparing the dough:

  

  • While the yeast is doing its magic, in a wide mixing bowl sieve the flour, salt.
  • Add the yeast mixture and mix the dough gently.
  • Now slowly add water (2 tbsps. at a time) and start mixing the dough to form a ball. If the dough is sticky, add more flour or if it’s too dry add more water.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  • Grease a big vessel with sufficient room for the dough to rise with olive oil.
  • Spread some oil on top of the dough too. Keep this dough in the greased vessel and wrap it with cling film and set aside.
  • I kept it inside my oven. It took me 1.5 hours this for the dough rise.

Kneading:

  • Once the dough has raised, remove the cling film and punch it down.
  • Knead it on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes to build the gluten content and to remove all the air pockets.

Baking:

  • Coat a baking tray with olive oil and transfer the dough to the bakeware.
  • Apply some oil on your fingers and press out the dough to a rectangle.
  • Now press fingertips all over the dough forming indentations.
  • Drizzle and spread the olive oil on top and sprinkle the olives and rosemary evenly over
  • Let this dough rise for about 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 deg F and bake the bread for about 20 minutes or until it is brown and crusty.

Let it cool and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping or with soup.

Notes:

  • After the first rise, you can knead the dough and let it rise again before pressing out the dough for baking.
  • You can choose your favorite topping. You can go for cheese, and sun dried tomatoes or tomato and basil or other Italian herbs too.
  • I would prefer plain extra virgin olive oil for this recipe (that’s what I used too), but you can opt for flavored oil too.
  • Temperature plays a significant role in dough rise so wait patiently but during warm weather check the dough after an hour.
  • If you are using instant yeast, no proofing is required. You can directly add it to the flour. In that case, add more water.

Focaccia With Olives and Rosemary

Focaccia Bread with Olives and Rosemary
A rustic yeast based bread recipe from Italy. It’s the Focaccia al rosmarino - Focaccia bread with rosemary and olives.
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Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
For yeast proofing
  1. Lukewarm water - 1/4 cup
  2. Sugar – a pinch
  3. Active dry yeast - 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp
Other Ingredients for the bread
  1. All-purpose flour – 4 cups + for during if required while kneading
  2. Water – 1.5 cups
  3. Olive Oil - 3 tbsps. + for greasing the bowl and bakeware
  4. Salt – 2 tsps.
  5. Sliced Olives – ¼ cup
  6. Dried Rosemary – 2 tsps
Yeast Proofing
  1. Add the sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, the water will be bubbly and frothy. (In parallel sieve the dough as mentioned below)
  3. After 10 minutes, mix it nicely.
  4. The yeast mixture is ready.
Preparing the dough
  1. While the yeast is doing its magic, in a wide mixing bowl sieve the flour, salt.
  2. Add the yeast mixture and mix the dough gently.
  3. Now slowly add water (2 tbsps. at a time) and start mixing the dough to form a ball. If the dough is sticky, add more flour or if it’s too dry add more water.
  4. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  5. Grease a big vessel with sufficient room for the dough to rise with olive oil.
  6. Spread some oil on top of the dough too. Keep this dough in the greased vessel and wrap it with cling film and set aside.
  7. I kept it inside my oven. It took me 1.5 hours this for the dough rise.
Kneading
  1. Once the dough has raised, remove the cling film and punch it down.
  2. Knead it on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes to build the gluten content and to remove all the air pockets.
Baking
  1. Coat a baking tray with olive oil and transfer the dough to the bakeware.
  2. Apply some oil on your fingers and press out the dough to a rectangle.
  3. Now press fingertips all over the dough forming indentations.
  4. Drizzle and spread the olive oil on top and sprinkle the olives and rosemary evenly over.
  5. Let this dough rise for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 deg F and bake the bread for about 20 minutes or until it is brown and crusty.
  7. Let it cool and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping or with soup.
Notes
  1. After the first rise, you can knead the dough and let it rise again before pressing out the dough for baking.
  2. You can choose your favorite topping. You can go for cheese, and sun dried tomatoes or tomato and basil or other Italian herbs too.
  3. I would prefer plain extra virgin olive oil for this recipe (that’s what I used too), but you can opt for flavored oil too.
  4. Temperature plays a significant role in dough rise so wait patiently but during warm weather check the dough after an hour.
  5. If you are using instant yeast, no proofing is required. You can directly add it to the flour. In that case, add more water.
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/

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