Need a weekend baking project? Well I have the perfect one for you here.
Garlic Herb Focaccia.
Looks easy, but it took me awhile to master. I made a few rookie mistakes my first time and I’m going to help you avoid them. First off, this recipe only needs a quarter baking sheet. Or if you have a 9x13 pan, that works too. Do not use a full cookie sheet like i did. Rookie mistake, remember?
Second tip - make sure your yeast is alive and bubbling. Let it sit 5 minutes longer than you think you need to (in a warm place) just to make sure it is indeed alive. I didn’t let it sit long enough and never got a very good rise. Not a rookie mistake, just super impatient.
I was super inspired by Samin Nosrat after watching her documentary “Salt Fat Acid Heat” on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, let that become another weekend project. She brings so much joy to the screen through her passion for food, i absolutely adore her! Anyhow - if you’ve seen the show / episode, you’ll know why I hit the kitchen immediately after watching it.
Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we? I adapted this from my foodie friend, Amanda Fredrickson. I watched several youtube videos after my failed attempt to figure out what went wrong. Her’s seemed to be the least fussy and looked pretty darn good! I still wanted to try the brine that Samin did in hers so this is a combo of both recipes.
Garlic Herb Focaccia
1 Tbs. yeast
2 tsps sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped rosemary and thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. flaky sea salt
1/4 cup warm water
In a measuring cup, add warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let the yeast activate for 10 minutes until bubbly. If it does not bubble - your yeast might be dead.
Use a stand mixer with the dough hook. In the bowl of a stand mixer add flour and salt, mix until combined. Slowly add yeast mixture and continue mixing until dough comes together. It should be slightly “wet” but not super sticky.
Remove the dough and place it in a large, well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place dough in a well oiled bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 30 - 45 minutes. Keep the dough in a warm place to help it rise faster. I like placing it next to the stove while I’m cooking.
In the meantime, make the herb brine. Add garlic, rosemary and thyme, 1 tbsp salt, and 1/4 cup warm water into a bowl and mix until the salt dissolves. Set aside.
Remove the dough and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add 1-2 tbsps olive oil and spread evenly. With your fingers, gently spread the dough into an even layer and let it rise again for another 20 minutes or until doubled in size. Now taking your fingertips, press little dimples into the dough.
Now preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Pour spoonfuls of the herb brine over the dough and let it sit again for 10 minutes until the liquid absorbs into the dough. Don’t worry if there’s still a small bit inside the dimples. It’ll bake out. Finally, add a nice drizzle of olive oil on top of the dough and it’s ready to bake!
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. When you remove it from the oven, the top will be hard. like a cracker. but don’t worry because it will soften up! I was so disappointed when this happened again - but low and behold - everything was right in the world when i returned to check on it. So let it cool for a couple minutes then serve in small pieces. Squares, strips, sticks, all is good. I like dipping it with some pesto or balsamic vinegar with olive oil.
Enjoy and be sure to tag me on IG at @honeysuckle if you make this!
Thanks Amanda and Samin for your inspiration and help. :)