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Friday, January 29, 2010

Rosemary & Olive Focaccia

Don't panic! I know this recipe sounds like I'm going to bake some Hollywood children, but it's really just bread. Delicious bread.

Disclaimer: I love bread. We go through at least a loaf a week, more when we're not rationing it. You're going to find a LOT of bread recipes on this blog once I get going. Today it's Focaccia.

I had olives left over from Greek Salad the other night and figured I could pop them in some bread. I needed to make focaccia anyway for a bruschetta recipe I came across the other day.

I used a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, via Epicurious. I adjusted the instructions based on the comments/reviews.

Focaccia with Olives and Rosemary


2 cups warm water (105°F; to 115°F;)
2 teaspoons dry yeast (I used quickrise)

4 1/2 cups (about) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons olive oil
24 black or green brine-cured olives (such as Kalamata or Greek),pitted, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried


Place 2 cups warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle dry yeast over; stir with fork. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes.

Add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture and stir to blend well (dough will be sticky). Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is sticky, about 10 minutes. Form dough into ball. Oil large bowl; add dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough; knead into ball and return to same bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes or less.

Coat 15x10-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough. Transfer to prepared sheet. Using fingertips, press out dough to 13x10-inch rectangle. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over dough. Sprinkle olives and chopped rosemary evenly over. Let dough rise uncovered in warm area until puffy, about 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475°F. Press fingertips all over dough, forming indentations. Bake bread until brown and crusty, about 20 minutes. Serve bread warm or at room temperature.

My changes:

1. I made two loaves, one with feta & rosemary and one with olives & rosemary. Both turned out great.

2. I kneaded in the olives and feta slices after the second rise, though I did reserve a few olives for the top.

3. I totally forgot to add the olive oil on top, and to make the little indentations. I remembered the oil about 10 minutes into the baking time and poured it on then. Seemed to work okay. Next time I'll make sure I remember.


Dense and chewy, this bread is great for sopping up saucy or juicy dishes. We ate the feta loaf with some pasta & sauce, and it was a perfect complement. The dough is quite salty, but that just adds extra flavour to the sopping action. I'm anticipating it toasting/frying up really well tonight for the bruschetta base.

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