I don’t know about you, but the race to Christmas has officially started over here. While I was tempted to make this week’s recipe a quick one to match my busy schedule (and I bet yours too), I chose to go the opposite way, forcing myself to slow down just for a bit.
Taking my time and enjoying the process is one of the pleasures of making my own bread at home. Kneading the dough, waiting for it to rise, caring for it. Something about it is so fulfilling and satisfying, especially when it’s meant to be shared with people you love.
In the hopes of bringing a bit of mindfulness to this frantic season, I’m sharing the recipe for a beautiful homemade focaccia bread.
Light, chewy, salty, super tasty, completely addicting. Patience here is definitely rewarded.
This dough is slightly more wholesome than your traditional focaccia thanks to the organic whole grain spelt flour I used here. This one from GRAIN is one my favourite flours to use in baking. It works beautifully in this recipe. You could use all-purpose flour, but I like the nutty flavour of spelt, and the fact that it’s easier on the digestive system. Since spelt has a lower gluten content, you’ll have to be a little more patient for it to fully rise. It might end up a bit less puffy than your traditional foccacia.
This is a simple but lovely recipe to have in your back pocket for potlucks and parties, and I have a feeling there might be a few in your near future. Bring this little bread over and it will make a lot of people happy. It has a perfect texture and an abundance of flavour from the kalamata olives, rosemary, olive oil and garlic.
If you make this foccacia, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram!
Dough recipe adapted from Ricardo.Print
- 2 cups spelt flour
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- ¾ cup warm water
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Sea salt and black pepper
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Add the warm water (water should be warm to the touch, but not too hot or it may kill your yeast). Gently stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky ball starts to form. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface, then lightly knead the dough with your hands a couple times until you have a smooth and sticky ball (do not over knead).
- Grease a medium bowl with a bit olive oil. Transfer the ball into the oiled bowl and roll it around to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Set in a warm place and let rise until the dough has at least doubled in size, minimum 1 hour (I let mine rise for 3 hours).*
- Once the dough has risen, use two tablespoons of the olive oil to oil a large baking sheet or rectangular oven-proof dish.
- Punch the dough and spread it out with your hands to form a rectangle of about 9” x 13”. Press it onto the sheet, turning it a few times to coat with oil. Use your fingertips to make small cavities all over the dough. Let sit again, uncovered, until the dough has slightly risen again, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil on the surface of the dough, and sprinkle the garlic and rosemary. Spread the olives, pressing them slightly into the dough. Season with black pepper and a little more sea salt.
- Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve. This focaccia is best fresh out of the oven or enjoyed the same day.
* In the colder months, leaving the dough on the countertop might not be enough to raise it. I like to heat my oven at the lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off and wait a few more minutes. I then place the covered bowl of dough in the warm oven to let it rise there.