Springtime Focaccia

Baystateparent Magazine
Springtime Focaccia Bread.

Create an edible masterpiece with springtime veggies and herbs. This is a fun recipe to make with kids, who will love adorning the dough with their own designs. 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups warm water 

1 tablespoon sugar 

1 tablespoon active dry yeast 

½ cup olive oil, divided

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more for topping

3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups all purpose flour 

Desired garden toppings (We used fresh rosemary, chives, asparagus and grape tomatoes. Other ideas: bell pepper, onion, garlic, squash, parsley, rosemary, scallions, etc.)

Directions 

In a large mixing bowl, stir the sugar into the warm water until it dissolves. Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit for 5-10 minutes. 

Stir the yeast mixture and add the salt, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and 3 cups of flour. Stir to combine then transfer to a well-floured flat surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it’s smooth and stretchy. Add more flour as needed if the dough is too sticky. 

Place the ball of dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean dish cloth and let rise at warm room temperature, about 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

Once dough has risen, brush a 9x13 baking dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Punch down the dough to deflate, then transfer it to the prepared baking dish. 

Use your hands to pull and stretch the dough out to the sides of the pan. Cover with a dish cloth and let rise again, about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises, prepare your toppings and plan your design. You might want to use an extra similarly sized pan to lay out your design before transferring it to the dough.

Once the dough has risen, use your fingers to poke holes throughout the dough. This will create the focaccia's signature bumpy texture. 

Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the dough, then add the toppings to create your design. Press the toppings in slightly so that they set into the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and slightly toasted at the edges.

Let cool before cutting and serving. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.

Known as "Goose" to her grandkids, Laurie Silva Collins has perfected her recipes over years of cooking for her three daughters and six grandchildren.