Foccaccia - Italian flat bread
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- 1 pkg
- fast acting yeast
- 1 c
- luke warm water (less than 110f)
- 1 tsp
- 2 c
- bread flour + additional for dusting kneading surface
- 1 c
- semolina flour
- 2 tsp
- 1/3 c
- olive oil + additional for coating bread twice
- dried herb seasoning, grated hard cheese, or other flavor enhancement
1In a 2-cup measuring cup, stir yeast, water, and sugar together. Allow to sit and develop bubbles while you prepare the other ingredients.
2In a large bowl, mix bread flour, semolina flour, and salt.
3Pour yeast mixture and olive oil into flour mixture and stir until a ragged mass is formed.
4Dump this dough onto a floured surface, such as a counter, and knead to mix thoroughly. Once all the ragged pieces are incorporated, knead (push away and fold back) 200 strokes, flouring your hands and the counter as necessary to prevent sticking. The dough will remain grainy due to the semolina flour. Form into a ball. Your ball will have a smooth side and a broken side.
5Pour a little olive oil into the mixing bowl, and place the ball of dough in the oil, rolling it around to coat all surfaces. Rest the ball, broken side down in the bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
6Allow the covered bread to rise in a still, warm place, 1-2 hours. It may not double in size but that is okay. An oven with the light bulb on works well. The cooler the rise, the slower it will be but do not put the dough in too hot a spot or you will kill the yeast.
7Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press the dough out into a 7" x 12" rectangle or until the dough is a bit less than an inch thick. With the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes about 1 inch apart in the top of the bread. Allow it to rise for another hour.
8Preheat the oven to 400F.
9Coat the top of the bread with olive oil. Optionally top with dried herbs, cheese, smoked salt, garlic flakes, or other flavoring of your choice.
10Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Cool on a rack. To use for sandwiches, cut in rectangles and then across as you would an English muffin.