Focaccia bread is one of the few breads that can be made and eaten in the same day; that is only one of the reasons I enjoy making it. It is also one of my favorite breads to make hot sandwiches out of. I grabbed my ingredients (which are also few...) and began my heavenly smelling creation!
It all begins with putting 1 cup of warm water in a bowl with 1/2 Tablespoon of honey added and then 1/2 Tablespoon of active dry yeast sprinkled on top, left sitting for about 5 minutes. While that is sitting, saute 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of diced onion together in a bit of olive oil. Once that is done, set it aside while you add 1/2 Tablespoon of kosher salt and 1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil into your wet mixture.
Begin stirring 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour into the wet mixture a little at a time (you will end up using your hands as the mixture becomes thicker); then add your sauteed onions and garlic.
Then, my favorite part begins...the KNEADING! Sprinkle a little flour out onto the counter and take your dough out of the bowl and begin to knead the bread for about 5 minutes.
Once the kneading is complete, set your dough aside in a plastic or glass bowl, rubbing a little olive oil on it and cover it with a damp cloth. The dough should then rise until it is has about doubled in size (approximately 20 minutes)
After the dough has risen, oil a flat cookie sheet and begin to stretch the dough out to fit on it. Take your finger and make little indentations in it and drizzle 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over the top of it. Next, chop 1 Tablespoon of fresh rosemary up and sprinkle over the top of the dough. Add 2-3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or any other desired toppings like kalamata olives, tomato slices, oregano, basil, etc.). Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and then set aside to rise again for about 10 minutes.
Finally, it is time to bake this delicious bread for about 20-25 minutes. And believe me...the smell of this baking bread will have your mouth watering in anticipation for the first taste!
This is a delicious, simple bread that ANYONE can make. Eat it alone, with soups or slice it to make wonderful hot sandwiches!
HAPPY NEW YEAR and HAPPY BAKING!