Garlic Cheese Focaccia Bread

“This is some of my favorite things to do (slices garlic), these little, you could almost call them mindless tasks but, I actually think of them as mindful tasks. It is almost about getting to that point in your mind where this becomes pleasurable instead of drudgery. As a culture we’ve gotten so far away from these little tasks. It seams like it is getting in the way of life but, actually this is life.” –from “Cooked” by Michael Pollen.

One evening a few months back I made a soup for a dinner in. I wanted to have a delicious side and I looked for something to pair a cream based soup. I decided on an easy instant yeast risen flat bread called Focaccia. This bread was actually fun to make. After you make the dough and let it rise you poke it with your finger making little divots all over the round dough. This makes it look extra delicious when you cover with melted butter and seasonings. It makes little pools of buttery goodness. (Happy fat kid) I have also read recipes that people have put olives or cherry tomatoes pressed on top before baking. That will be for another time. Enjoy!

Garlic Cheese Focaccia Bread

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Ingredients

Focaccia

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4- 2 2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup asiago , parmesan, or romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat water until warm, not hot.
  2. Pour the water into a large bowl and add yeast, stirring with a fork until it dissolves in. Add to this 2 1/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons of very soft butter, and the salt. Mix until a soft dough forms, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough with a push turn method, dusting with flour when needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface. While kneading the dough, add in additional flour about a tablespoon at a time or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about 5-10 minutes of kneading. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 10 minutes.
  3. After resting, place the dough onto a greased baking sheet. Using your hands, pat the dough into about a 12 inch circle. Cover again with greased plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes.)
  4. (I used a table with the best sunlight.)
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. When the dough has risen, using your finger tips, poke 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep holes throughout the dough, spacing the holes about an inch or 2 apart. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter, making sure to get some on the top of the foccacia bread and down in the holes as well. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the garlic salt, parsley, and shredded cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Serve hot.

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Original recipe credit to: http://www.accidentalhappybaker.com

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