Meatless Monday: Focaccia


Welcome to this first Meatless Monday of spring 2011. This week I’m sharing one of my favorite bread recipes: focaccia. This traditional Italian flatbread makes a delicious sandwich bread, or a tasty accompaniment to a homemade spaghetti dinner. I adapted this recipe from Angeli Caffe’s original Focaccia recipe. Once a week, why not give up meat and try a hearty home baked bread?

Focaccia

Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 package active dry yeast

2 cups warm water (115 degrees F.)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for coating bowl and pan, and drizzling over bread

topping(s) of your choice–sliced onions, black olives, diced tomatoes, or grated cheese, for example

more sea salt to taste

Suggestion: serve focaccia warm, as an accompaniment to spaghetti

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, yeast, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Add warm water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine and gradually add enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil and place dough in the bowl. Turn the dough over so that it is coated with the oil. Cover and let rise until doubled–about an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with oil. Turn dough onto the cake pan and press the dough so that it covers the bottom of the pan.  Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

After the dough has risen, remove the cover and dimple the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle olive oil onto the dough, add toppings, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cut into squares and serve warm.

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