If you’re in need of an emergency loaf of bread, well you’ve come to the right place. This focaccia is delicious, fluffy, and quick baking.
I developed the recipe accidentally, in that I was making Easter dinner and realized that the rest of the family had eaten all the focaccia I had bought intended for making croutons. So I decided rather than having a stress induced meltdown, I’d just proof some yeast and make the best of the situation.
Well, great news – it was delicious and actually a highlight of the meal! Since it was a holiday, we were having a bit of a starch-heavy meal, and fresh warm bread was the absolute cherry on the cake.
What’s great about focaccia is that it doesn’t like to be overworked (and honestly, same). It’s a super sticky dough, but this means its light and fluffy when baked. It rises in its pan, which cuts down on mess and space when trying to pull together a whole meal. This happy loaf can just sit quietly in the corner and rise for twenty minutes!
As for toppings, I put sea salt for crunch and rosemary for that classic flavour. Since the herbs are right on top, it smells amazing while baking. I brush the focaccia with olive oil before baking to give the toppings something to stick to, and to help the top brown.
Also, a note on the sea salt: it will disappear after a few days. The humidity of the bread in a bag (or other sealed storage place) will make it absorb into the bread. No problem as far as taste goes, just a visual change to note.
My grandmother always said never to slice hot bread, but I usually ignore that rule with this particular loaf. It’s great fresh out of the oven – probably due to the fact its a short loaf, and easy to slice.
Focaccia in Under One Hour
Proofing the Yeast
- 2 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5 cups hot water
For the Bread
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- olive oil for brushing
- sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, or if using an Aga, use the baking oven.
To proof the yeast: in a measuring cup, put 1.5 cups of hot water, along with the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Stir briefly. Allow to sit in a warm place until foam forms on the top of the water.
In a stand-up mixer, add the 3 cups of flour. Pour in the yeast/water mixture while mixing on the lowest setting. Add in the sugar and salt. Mix with a bread paddle for a few minutes, until the dough is formed. It will be very sticky; you can add a small bit of extra flour if needed to handle it, but not much.
In a square pan, pour in the tablespoon of olive oil. Put the bread dough into this pan and roll it around in the oil so it gets coated. Don't worry too much about shaping the dough to the pan at this point. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit somewhere warm for 20 minutes.
Once the dough is risen, gently use your fingers to stretch it into the shape of the pan. You're trying not to deflate too much of the air that has formed inside.
Poke holes into the top of the bread gently using a finger. Brush on some additional olive oil on top, and sprinkle on sea salt and rosemary.
If you have time, allow the bread to rise for another 5 minutes or so in the pan. If not, pop it into the hot oven for 20 minutes.
If the top of the bread isn't as brown as you'd like by the end, put it closer to the top of the oven for an additional 3-4 minutes.