Nothing’s more comforting at home than the warm smell of handmade bread coming out of the oven. Especially when the afternoon hours are flying and nightfall is right around the corner, and you realize there’s no more bread at home for dinner. Animated by a massive wave of laziness to go outside that Sunday, I’ve decided to make bread by myself, and I thought it would make it more interesting to try out a new sort of bread. As we are neighbors with Italy, Focaccia came to my mind. Besides, I still had in my fridge a piece of delicious Salers cheese, and I thought I’d open a bottle of Saint Chinian 2015 red wine for the occasion.
In France, Focaccia is more widely called Fougasse, but both of them only have in common that they are olive oil based, and that they can be stuffed or sprinkled over with delicious ingredients. For the rest, the shape is different, and in my opinion the bread texture is pretty unique in both versions. And while we are at it with honesty, it is useless to try picking which one is the best in tastes or flavors because they are both equally worth it. Focaccia sometimes is sliced in the thickness, and is used for making delicious sandwiches. When stuffed for pure and simple snacking, the stuffing ingredients often are oily foods such as olives, or smoked meat or dried tomatoes primarily soaked in olive oil, etc. I went the easy way as it was my first trial, and did not stuff my bread, I only sprinkled my Focaccia with Rosemary, Oregano and Fleur de Sel. Pure delish, and a perfect option for vegetarians too! Enjoy!!
- 300 ml of lukewarm water
- 1 bag of dry yeast (8 grams)
- 500 grams of all purpose flour
- 2 large tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of salt
- A mix of 30 ml water + 30 ml olive oil + 1 tsp of salt
- About 3 tsp of rosemary and oregano altogether
- Fleur de Sel
- In a mixing bowl, put ingredients in the following order: dry yeast, lukewarm water, flour, olive oil, salt.
- Knead for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Form a ball with the dough, and put in the bowl to rest for minimum 20 minutes under a kitchen cloth.
- Grease an oven baking dish (bottom and sides).
- Transfer the dough inside the baking dish and roughly spread it all over with your hands, by lightly pushing it but not too much otherwise all gas bubbles will go off.
- Cover again with a kitchen cloth for another 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
- In a small bowl, combine the water, olive oil and salt, and emulsify as if you were making a vinaigrette.
- With the thumb (or another finger…), make deep holes all over the dough.
- With a brush, immediately spread the liquid mixture over, and make sure to fill in all the holes. It is important that the entire quantity is used up, even if it looks like there is a lot of liquid.
- Sprinkle the rosemary and oregano.
- Add the Fleur de Sel.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes if you have a fan-oven. If not, then the baking time is more around 25 to 30 minutes.
- Check the coloring, it has to be lightly golden.
- Take out of the oven and let it rest a few minutes before cutting the focaccia into squares.
- It is delicious with a strong cheese (here is Salers cheese) and a nice red wine (I’ll go with a Saint-Chinian)!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.