Well, hello there! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new recipe and it turns out that running a business and having a baby simultaneously (or two babies, as I sometimes feel!) leave little time for video recipes – who knew?! I’m so happy to be back and excited to share a recipe I’ve been obsessed with in the past month – homemade focaccia.
This is an amazing recipe to have in your back pocket for a number of reasons. First, the total hands on time to make perfectly spongy, hydrated (dare I say moist??), flavorful focaccia is almost laughably short. Second, this recipe makes a bunch and is the perfect appetizer for a crowd. Third, it not only rivals focaccia you’ve had in restaurants, it far exceeds the texture and taste of what you buy in the store.
I was heavily influenced by this focaccia recipe from Once Upon a Chef, which is simple and allows for many topping variations. It relies on a stand mixer to do most of the work, and good olive oil to provide rich flavor. I love rosemary as a topping, but also wanted to experiment by adding truffles. I know, truffle focaccia, what could be better?
Since we partnered with Urbani Truffles for our cooking classes in the fall of 2016 (read more about this over at City Cooking West End) I’ve had the incredible opportunity to use their products. Beyond cooking with fresh truffles (an experience I can’t praise enough), it’s been fun to play around with their truffle sauces. The one I used in this recipe, Urbani black truffles & mushrooms, works best when spread over the focaccia when just out of the oven. The residual heat peaks the aroma and the olive oil in the sauce adds to the already rich buttery taste of the bread. The focaccia also keeps well for a few days wrapped tightly in the fridge, and heats up like a dream in the toaster oven.
- 1 3/4 cups warm water (warm out of the tap, no need to measure the temperature)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons Urbani black truffle & mushrooms spread
- Stir together water, yeast, and sugar until disolved. Set aside 10 minutes or until foaming (this tends to happen faster for me, within 3 minutes).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together flour and 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt.
- Pour yeast mixture into the stand mixer bowl along with the flour, and add 1/2 cup olive oil.
- Run the mixer on low speed for 5 minutes. If the dough isn't pulling away from the bowl after a few minutes, add a tablespoon of flour.
- Transfer dough to a large bowl greased with a little olive oil and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, 1-2 hours.
- Punch down dough and transfer to a well oiled sheet pan (generously oil the pan with 1/4 cup of olive oil). Stretch the dough to evenly reach the sides of the pan and cover again with plastic wrap and let rise an additional hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap the sheet tray and, using your fingertips, make indentations all over the dough. No need to break through the dough to the pan, just indent enough so the dough looks pocked and textured.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon of coarse kosher salt and drizzle with olive oil. Top one half with chopped rosemary.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and spread one half with truffle sauce. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a cutting board and slice. Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for several days, and reheat in the toaster oven for a few minutes.