Welp, I baked another delicious loaf of bread yesterday! A bangin’ focaccia bread this time! I saw a recipe on Serious Eats earlier this week for a beautiful No-Knead Olive and Rosemary Focaccia with Pistachios. It looked amazing! And it is what inspired this loaf. Originally, I was also going to top mine with olives and rosemary and some toasted walnuts however shortly into my time preparing the dough, I realized that I had left the olives I purchased earlier this week in Chris’ refrigerator. It’s tough living in two places at once!
So for this loaf, I decided to go simple with just some fresh rosemary and thyme, coarse sea salt and good olive oil, although now that I think of it, I should have mixed whole roasted garlic cloves into the dough! That would have been an awesome riff on the focaccia from Just A Taste (which I love with my whole heart!)
Basic ratio adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Basic Bread Ratio
- 20 ounces bread flour
- 12 ounces warm water
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus some for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, stripped from their stem
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for the bowl
- 1 heads worth roasted garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the warm water and sprinkle the yeast over the top, let stand 10 minutes. Add the flour, salt and garlic cloves if using. If preparing the dough with a stand mixer, combine the ingredients with the paddle attachment on low until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If preparing the dough by hand, combine the ingredients with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough into an oiled bowl covered with a dish towel and place into a cold oven or the microwave and let rise 1-1 1/2 hours. When doubled in size, punch down and knead slightly to redistribute the yeast and gas. Recover with the dish towel and let sit another 10-15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, pour the olive oil into a cast iron skillet. You should have enough so that the bottom surface of the skillet is covered by a layer of olive oil. Remove your dough from the bowl and place into the center of the cast iron skillet and once again cover with the dish towel. Let proof and expand outward into the skillet for another 1 1/2-2 hours. When proofed, stipple the dough with your fingers, dimpling the surface of the dough and pushing it into all the curves of the skillet. Any excess olive oil from the bottom of the skillet should bubble over the dough. Use this to coat the top of the dough, spreading it around with your fingers until evenly coated.
Preheat your oven to 500 F. Sprinkle the herbs and some coarse salt over the top of the dough. Bake in the cast iron skillet at 500 degrees for 15-20 minutes until evenly golden brown and fragrant. Allow to cool in skillet for 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling and enjoy! The magical crispy, olive oil-fried bottom crust is what it’s all about! That and the magically, soft interior with just enough chew to satisfy! Give this one a try, she won’t dissapoint!!