Focaccia Bread

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This traditional bread is sure to be a family favourite! This recipe comes from Rosa Boyd, Technologist, Baking Technology.

Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 7 C flour
  • 2 ⅔ C water
  • 2 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ⅔ TBSP yeast (fresh)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 ½ TBSP fat (oil)

2 ½ TBSP olive oil for brushing the dough on both sides when panning.

Topping:

  • 4 or 5 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Small jar Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (optional)
  • Fresh garlic or garlic powder
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Oregano
  • Basil

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400°F (200°C). Prepare the focaccia dough by combining all ingredients (knead dough by hand or mixer). Knead dough until slightly soft and extensible. During mixing note the texture of the dough to see if more water needs to be added (add ¼ cup or 50g of water at a time if required). It should take approximately 7 to 10 minutes to make the dough depending on kneading method. Once dough is made, cover it and let rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, divide the dough in half and round each piece into a ball, cover and let rest for about 30 minutes.

While dough is resting, prepare topping ingredients. Dice tomatoes and place in a bowl and season with ¼ tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1 ½ tsp of fresh garlic or garlic powder and oregano. Set aside and let the juices release from the tomatoes. Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, place the rounded dough on a floured surface and begin pressing down on the centre of the dough with finger tips. Continue to work the dough from the centre and press outwards to sheet the dough into a rectangular shape to fit the size of a 10”x17” (25×43 cm) bake pan. Next, take 1 ¼ TBSP of olive oil and rub over the surface of the dough with your hands and create indents in the dough with your fingers. Turn out the dough with the coated oil side down on a rectangular 10” X 17” bake sheet (25×43 cm) lined with parchment paper. Next, using the remaining olive oil, coat the top of the dough repeating the same procedure as before when coating the bottom surface of the dough.

Once the dough is oiled and on the baking sheet, begin adding the toppings. Take the diced tomatoes and spread over the surface of the dough. Be sure to spread the juice from the tomatoes too. Place the Kalamata olives over the dough (olives are optional). Next, season the surface of the dough generously with fresh garlic or garlic powder, oregano and coarse sea salt.

Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes at 400°F.

Take some fresh basil and slice into ribbons and place over the freshly baked focaccia.

Makes 2 focaccia breads.

Focaccia Bread

Here’s what Rosa had to say about why she chose this recipe:

“I chose this recipe because Cigi promotes Canadian wheat in countries all over the world. Canadian wheat is used in so many amazing products such as breads, pasta and noodles. I thought it would be interesting to showcase Canadian wheat in this family recipe that is a reflection of my Italian heritage. This recipe comes from the province of Bari, Italy, where my Dad grew up. I was taught this recipe by my parents. It is very special to me and now I’d like to share it with all of you. Buon Appetito!”

Rosa Boyd joined Cigi in 2009 and holds the position of Technologist, Baking Technology. Working in the test bakery, Rosa’s activities include small scale test baking and analysis of different wheat flours, varieties and crops, and participating in technical demonstrations. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutritional Science from the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining Cigi, Rosa was a research assistant at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Cereal Research Centre and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Winnipeg, Manitoba.