Happy New Year! One of the first breads I learned how to make in Pastry 101 was focaccia bread. After that it became one of my favorite breads to make and eat. It tastes very similar to pizza and that’s probably why I love it so much! There are many flavor combinations, but what I love most is using thyme and lots of cheese! The original recipe of this says to use 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, but I’m not a fan of it so I replaced it with thyme.
I flattened mine out to just under a 12 inch x 12 inch square. I would go a little bigger if you want it to be a little thinner. I thought I had stretched it enough because it seemed thin enough, but it grew a little bigger than I expected. I didn’t mind though since it came out so fluffy.
This is my favorite step because you dip your fingers in olive oil and dimple the bread after it’s been stretched. It’s just fun!
I love cheese so I covered it quite well. I used cheddar and Monterey Jack, but mozzarella or any Italian cheeses would be great on it.
It does freeze well too if you don’t think you’ll eat it all before it goes stale. I really hope you get to enjoy this bread. It’s worth all the effort!
This recipe is a variation from the recipe in my school textbook, On Baking: A Textbook of Baking & Pastry Fundamentals by Sarah R. Labensky, Priscilla A. Martel, & Eddy Van Damme.
1 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
12 fl. oz. Very Warm Water
1 lb. 2 oz. Bread Flour
2 tsp. salt
3 oz. Onion, chopped finely
1 Tbsp. Thyme
1 ½ cups Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)
2 fl. oz. Olive Oil
- Measure 12 oz. of very warm water (The warmest water your hand can stand.) Add the yeast and sugar to this and stir it. Let it sit until it’s nice and foamy.Chop the onion. Set aside
- Weigh out the bread flour and add to the mixing bowl. Add the salt and thyme. Mix.
- Add the activated yeast, sugar, water mixture to the mixing bowl with the flour mixture. Begin mixing. Add the onion. Mix until it comes together. You may have to knead it by hand a little depending on the size of your mixer. It won’t mix well if the mixer is a little smaller. Knead until the dough is smooth and springs back when pressed on.
- Put about O.5 fl. oz. of olive oil in the mixing bowl. Place the dough back in the bowl and turn over so all the dough is covered in the olive oil. Cover it with plastic wrap touching the dough and a towel on top of the bowl. Let the dough raise for 1 hour in a proofer or at room temperature.
- After 1 hour, punch down the dough. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place parchment on a sheet tray. Place the dough on the parchment. Flatten it on the pan so that it is about a 12 inch x 12 inch square or bigger depending on how thin you’d like your bread. Dip your fingers in the extra olive oil and dimple the surface of the dough. Sprinkle your shredded cheese of choice on top and any other topping you desire.
- Let it proof for 30 minutes.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.