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Focaccia is easy to make at home with a few staple ingredients. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

Quarantine Kitchen: Easy homemade focaccia

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Welcome to Quarantine Kitchen, a cooking show focused on tips and easy recipes you can execute in your home kitchen using basic ingredients and pantry staples. The show airs live on Facebook every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tune in by heading to the OnMilwaukee Facebook page. [View past episodes and recipes here]

This week's featured recipe is homemade focaccia.

In case you missed the episode, you can watch it now.

Homemade focaccia

1 ⅓ cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 tsp. sugar (or honey)
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (equivalent to one package)
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Kosher salt
Extra olive oil for oiling the pan and drizzling

Optional toppings: minced garlic, rosemary or other herbs, sundried tomatoes, olives, blue cheese, parmesan, caramelized onions

You can make this recipe by hand or using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.

If you are making the dough by hand

  1. Put warm water in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Add sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow the yeast to sit for 5-10 minutes until you see the yeast beginning to foam.
  2. Add the salt and about one cup of flour, mixing gently until combined. Then add the olive oil and remaining flour, stirring (or mixing with your hands) until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Once the dough has come together, take it out of the bowl and put it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead it for a few minutes, just until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a large oiled bowl. Then cover it with a towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Place parchment paper on top of a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Gently turn the dough out onto the parchment and shape with your hands into a large oval or rectangle (your choice). Gently place a towel over the dough and set it aside for another 20 minutes. (Alternatively, cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. This step will give your focaccia a slightly more complex flavor. Take it out about 30 minutes before you want to bake it and proceed as follows).
  6. After 20 minutes, remove the towel. Use your fingers to poke deep dimples all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and sprinkle toppings and salt evenly across the top of the focaccia.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and cooked through. Then remove it from the oven, drizzle with more olive oil and enjoy.

Focaccia is best enjoyed the day you make it. But it can be wrapped well and frozen. Just unwrap and reheat in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes to thaw it and warm it through.

Pictured: Focaccia with oil cured olives, herbes de Provence and flaked salt.

If you are using a stand mixer

  1. Put warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Add sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow the yeast to sit for 5-10 minutes until you see the yeast beginning to foam.
  2. Add the flour and then the salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the dough is beginning to come together; then add the olive oil, increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for about 5 minutes, until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough continues to appear very sticky and isn't clearing itself from the bottom and sides of the bowl, you can add a bit more flour (up to 1/4 cup, a bit at a time), just until you see improvement.
  3. Remove dough from the bowl and shape it into a more uniform ball. Add a bit of oil to the mixer bowl, spreading it up the sides to keep the dough from sticking. Place dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until it has roughly doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Place parchment paper on top of a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Gently turn the dough out onto the parchment and shape with your hands into a large oval or rectangle (your choice). Gently place a towel over the dough and set it aside for another 20 minutes. (Alternatively, cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. This step will give your focaccia a slightly more complex flavor. Take it out about 30 minutes before you want to bake it and proceed as follows).
  6. After 20 minutes, remove the towel. Use your fingers to poke deep dimples all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and sprinkle toppings and salt evenly across the top of the focaccia.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and cooked through. Then remove it from the oven, drizzle with more olive oil and enjoy.

Focaccia is best enjoyed the day you make it. But it can be wrapped well and frozen. Just unwrap and reheat in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes to thaw it and warm it through.

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