Baking with yeast scares me a little but I keep trying anyway. This time I think I’ve got it, at least, for this bread. Whew. This bread with yeast was easy to make and I had fun making it. I have realized that my house is probably not at ‘room temperature’ when baking with yeast. ** So I read up on different ways to help with the first rise and found a way to work around the problem. Heat up your oven to 200 degrees. Just before you place the bread in the oven for that first rise Turn Off the oven and then place the bread dough in the bowl in the oven with a towel over it. Let rise according to the recipe directions.** And poof, it actually rises like bread dough is supposed to. I was so excited. My next thing was to make sure not to over knead it. It turned out perfectly. Give it a try.
This makes two 9 inch Round ‘Cake Pans’ of Focaccia Bread
2 2/3 cups of warm water (110-112 degrees)
3-4 tsp of Sugar
2 packages (.25oz each) Active-Dry Yeast
7 cups All Purpose Flour
½ cup Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
4 tsp Sea Salt
Rosemary (fresh), about a couple of Tbsp for garnish on top of bread
Flaky Sea Salt for garnish on top of bread
Olive Oil for drizzling over the bread
Add sugar to the warm water (110-112 degrees) and let it dissolve. Add the warm water, make sure it’s still (110-112 degrees). Add the yeast and stir. Let it sit until it foams up, about 6-12 minutes.
In a bowl add the flour and salt and stir together. Using the dough hook of your mixer, add in the olive oil and the flour and mix on low and then increase the speed until combined. If the dough is too sticky and doesn’t pull away from the mixing bowl add in a little more flour, about ¼ – 1/3 cup until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the bread dough from the mixing bowl and form the dough into a smooth round ball. Place the dough in a bowl greased with olive oil or cooking spray and cover with a towel. See my ** note above for another option for ‘warm place’. This is the first rise. Place the bowl in a warm place, about 60 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
After the dough has risen, remove the dough from the bowl and on a floured surface divide the dough in half. Then roll out the dough to about ½ inch or slightly less into your preferred shape. I did two round circles. Cover each pan with dough and let rise for the second time for about 30 minutes. At this time preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Carefully place and fit the dough in your preferred pan. I used two 9-inch cake pans. Here comes the fun part, using your finger to poke deep holes into the dough all around. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle a little sea salt and rosemary over the top of both dough pans.
Bake the bread for about 20 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked through.
If desired, drizzle a little more olive oil over the bread and Serve while still warm. This bread is delicious with any meal. I can’t wait to try other versions of it.
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