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Focaccia Bread
Reviews:
January 09, 2008

Quite simply put...wow! Left out garlic powder, because 1) it's not an authentic Italian ingredient (only fresh garlic is used in Italy) and 2) it would give an ersatz flavor. Doubled the basil and used milk for the liquid, to give a moister crumb. The result was a soft, perfectly chewy bread. Dimpled the dough deeply with my thumb after rolling out. Then, sprinkled the top liberally with chopped fresh rosemary leaves from the garden and lightly with coarse kosher salt, after painting with extra virgin olive oil. Then applied a mix of mozzarella, Parmigiano, and genuine imported Italian Asiago halfway through baking time so the cheese would not become overly brown. The result was ambrosia, a golden feast for the eyes and a delectable treat for the mouth. This is the real deal. Outstandingly simple and simply outstanding! To those who had trouble with the texture of the dough, either it's your yeast or your rising technique. Make sure to use only yeast that's new or that has been stored in the fridge/freezer. Also, do not dissolve in hot water, only lightly warm to the inside of your wrist. If the yeast has been stored in the freezer or is new, proofing is an unnecessary step. Proofing yeast does nothing magical like people think - it just "proves" that it's still good by bubbling. Do not allow the dough to overrise, (in other words, to rise so high that it sinks back down on itself) and ferment. Set a timer so that you don't forget to check on it. Light dough rises quickly.

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