Sunday, October 16, 2011

Herb and Cheese Focaccia Bread

I love bread! 
There is something magical about the bread you make yourself.  Simple ingredients combined into warm crusty satisfaction. Wonderful enticing aromas wafting from the kitchen as it bakes into golden perfection.  Bread is so much better without all the preservatives that are included in the store bought stuff. 

I'm planning soup for later in the week and leftover pasta for dinner tonight and decided I needed a hearty bread to accompany them.  I opted for making Focaccia because it is quick and easy and doesn't require the rise time that other breads require.

In mere minutes I had this bread mixed up and rising.  It is so quick you can easily pull this together while you are preparing the rest of your dinner meal.  Or if you like bread as much as I do, this makes an awesome snack!

I will try a variation of this later that inclues a good amount of mozzarella on the top for a cheesey bread.

Herb and Cheese Focaccia Bread


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Sea Salt for sprinkling


In a large bowl, sir together the flour, salt and sugar.  Taste the mixture and adjust salt to your taste.  (I added another 1/2 teaspoon to mine at this point.)  Mix in the dried oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and black pepper. 

Stir in the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and water.  Mix until the tough pulls together.
Before Kneading
Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
After Kneading
Quickly wash out your mixing bowl with warm water, dry and lightly oil the inside. (This will warm the bowl, helping the bread to proof.)
Place the dough into the bowl and turn to coat it with the oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  When the dough has risen, punch it down and place it on a greased baking sheet.  Pat it out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.  Drizzle the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil on top and spread with your fingers. 

Using your finger tips, dimple the surface of the dough.
Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary and 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.
Give the bread a quick grate of sea salt and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm. 

Seriously, in the time it took me to type up the recipe in the blog, my bread has baked and I'm sitting here enjoying a big hunk!  It is so so good!

...and that my friends is What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.