Dr Doughlittle | Foccacia bread

Herb Foccacia. Spongy and light, aromatic and flavourful.

Foccacia is another of my favourite breads. It’s savory and fast to make. But as I like this bread to be a little more aromatic, the addition of herbs gives it a definite ‘lift’. The recipe is formulated to fill a 16 x 12 inch tray which you can easily get at the baker’ shop.

Starter:  

  • 1 cup bread flour                   
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp yeast
  • Stand for about 12 hours.

Herbs:  
     2 ½  tsp garlic powder
    2  ½ tsp dried oregano
    2  ½ tsp dried thyme
    1  ½ tsp dried basil
    ¾  tsp grounded pepper
    2  tsp salt

Dr Doughlittle | Starter

The Starter, made the night before.

Dough:  Starter plus
5 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp potato flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ¼  Tbsp active yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cup water.

Dr Doughlittle | Herb ingredients for Foccacia bread

Make sure you have all the spices!

First make the starter and let this stand at room temperature for at least 6 to 12 hours. You can leave it for longer if you place it in the fridge, but remember to let it ‘warm up’ for about an hour before incorporating it into the dough mixture.

Dr Doughlittle | Baking Bread | Mixed dough

The mixed dough. After 1 hour.

Dr Doughlittle | Bread Baking | Kneading the dough

Kneading the dough.

Dr Doughlittle | Bread Baking | Stretching and Pulling

Stretching and pulling.

The next day, mix all the ingredients including the starter, into a bowl and let this stand covered for 1 hour. Then knead the dough for a few minutes and proof it further untill it about doubles in size.

Dr Doughlittle | Baking Bread

Cover with towel to proof.

Dr Doughlittle | Bread Baking  | Risen bread

Dough doubled, after 40 minutes,

Transfer dough to the tray and spread the dough to fill the tray, using fingers or with a rolling pin and stand the dough covered for 45 to 60 minutes. I line the tray with a baking sheet as oiling the tray would make the base of the foccacia oily and less crispy. In the meantime, heat up the oven to 190˚C.

Dr Doughlittle | Foccacia bread before baking

Here is the dough spread out over the baking tray. Note the level of the dough below the tray’s edges.

After 45 to 60 minutes, before placing the tray into the oven:
Add holes on the surface of the dough using fingers or chop stick.
Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over the surface of the dough.
Sprinkle 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves.
Sprinkle 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp coarse sea salt.

Dr Doughlittle | Baking Foccacia Bread

I use the end of a small knife handle to make regular holes in the dough. Sprinkle oil, rosemary and salt.

Bake for 10 minutes at 190˚C.
Subsequently, reduce the heat to 170˚C and bake for a further 10 minutes or till golden brown.

 

Dr Doughlittle | Dough rising in oven

Note the oven rise of the dough.

Alternative filling/toppings:

1 cup chopped olives
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp dried thyme

Dr Doughlittle | Foccacia Bread freshly baked

Hot out of the Oven.

 

2 Tbsp dried basil
½ tsp grounded pepper
Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil
Sprinkle with 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp coarse sea salt.

“Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbour is a spiritual one.”

– Nikoli Berdyaev –

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