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Focaccia (Italian Garlic-Cheese Bread)

focaccia recipe

The first time I ever tasted "Roman bread" was at Monti's la Casa Vieja in Tempe, Arizona. I vowed to find a good recipe and tweak it to my liking, and this is the result.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Let stand until bubbly. Stir in sugar, salt and olive oil. Add 2 cups flour and eat until elastic. Stir in 2/3 cup more flour. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Put into a greased bowl. Turn over to coat well. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil. Add garlic and cook until soft and yellow. Set aside.
  4. Punch dough down and knead briefly. Roll with a rolling pin and stretch to fit a greased 15 x 10-inch cookie sheet (with sides). Pierce dough with the end of a wooden spoon at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle garlic and oil all over. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary. Let rise, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes.

Alternate Toppings

Rosemary: Just before baking, dimple the top of the dough and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt and a sprinkling of fresh or dried rosemary leaves.

Provencale: After the dough is stretched into the pan, stir together 1 can plum tomatoes (drained and chopped) and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil. Spread the mixture over the dough. Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.

Dimple the dough again and top with 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 can sliced black olives, 4 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt.

From the kitchen of Linda Ann Jolly.


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