This happens every year. I just start getting into the groove of summer. You know, regularly applying sunscreen. Running around, doing things because it’s light out past 9pm. Eating more veggies because they’re so fresh and delicious. And hanging out with my family more because the kids are on summer break and bed times don’t matter anymore. Then, almost without warning, I have to wear a sweatshirt to bed when I sleep with the windows open. I crave nothing but crock pot chili. And I don’t leave the house after 7pm because it’s almost starting to get dark outside.
So this past weekend when my parents were out of town, I jumped at the chance to spend some time with my sisters and brother before they head back to school in a couple weeks (and a structured bed time becomes a lot more important). I’d been wanting to re-test this focaccia bread recipe for a while and (lucky me!) my sisters are always up for some good quality time in the kitchen. The girls followed my recipe while I wrangled my toddler. I eventually ended up plopping her on the counter with a big spoon so she could “help” us stir. And spill flour EVERYWHERE. So basically, 11 year olds made this bread. That’s a real testament to how easy this focaccia recipe is.
Also, I’m sure to some the word focaccia sounds pretty fancy. Maybe a little too fancy? Well, it’s not. It’s a dense bread with a generous amount of olive oil poured on top. It bakes up nice and crispy on the outside, but super soft on the inside. You can make it with or without the herbs and you can eliminate the tomatoes as well. I sometimes like to make my focaccia with olives, sliced red onion and feta cheese. Or goat cheese and sundried tomato. I’ve also had just a simple garlic and shredded Parmesan focaccia. Use this recipe as a blank canvas and top it with whatever you’d like. Just don’t leave out the olive oil!
Another focaccia tip for you…bake it in a pie pan! A ceramic pie pan heats beautifully (and most important, evenly) so you get a crispy golden brown crust on the bottom. In fact, why don’t I just give you this pie pan? That’s right, I’m giving away one handmade ceramic pie pan (the very pie pan you see pictured here) from Rowe Pottery in Cambridge, Wisconsin. How do you enter the giveaway? It’s simple!
Comment below on what you’ll miss most about summer and you’re entered!
You can also share this post on your Facebook page and tag Midwest Foodie and you’re entered a second time!
The winner will be announced this Saturday, August 25th at 9am CST. US residents only. GIVEAWAY CLOSED
A dense bread with a generous amount of herb infused olive oil drizzled on top, this focaccia bakes up crispy on the outside, but super soft on the inside.
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp yeast)
- 1.5 cups lukewarm water
- 4 cups all purpose flour + more for flouring work surface
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Add yeast to a large bowl. Pour water over yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. Then use a fork to stir in flour, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Coat ball of dough with a drizzle of olive oil, place in the large bowl, cover with saran wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour in the warmest part of your kitchen.
- While the dough is working it’s magic, in a small saucepan combine olive oil with garlic and thyme. Place pan over low heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The garlic and time should become fragrant, but the garlic should not brown at all. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees and grab two 9 inch pie plates or cake pans. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil and herb mixture into each pan and use it to grease the bottom and sides. Divide dough in half and place inside each pie pan. Use your hands to work the dough into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer of dough. Use your finger tips to gently press dimples into the surface of the dough. Cover each pan of dough with saran wrap of a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another half hour.
- Divide remaining olive oil and herb mixture between to the two pans of dough, drizzling it across the surface of each. Divide cherry tomatoes evenly between the dough pans of dough, gently pressing them into the dough, cut side up about an inch apart.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the bread starts to get golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then slice and serve warm!
Keywords: easy, simple, bread, focaccia, tomato, garlic, herb