This is just about as easy as it gets for some really good homemade focaccia. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s a great project to tackle with the kids.
We used our Buttermilk White Bread Mix for bread machines but you can use your favorite one-loaf mix or a recipe. (If you are using a two-loaf mix or recipe, make two breads–maybe one a focaccia and the other a standard loaf.) You will also need two to four tablespoons of olive oil, depending on your taste.
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Mix the bread dough according to package directions or according to the recipe. We used our bread machine for convenience but we could have made the dough by hand or with our stand-type mixer. (If you use your bread machine, be sure to set the machine to the “dough” setting.) Let the dough rise until doubled–for most recipes, 45 to 60 minutes. If you use your bread machine on the dough setting, it will rise in the machine.
Punch down the dough, shape it into a ball, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Let it stand for 15 minutes. In the meantime, mix together the following ingredients for a topping:
2-3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Gently place the round dough on a large greased baking sheet and press it into an oval 9×15-inches. Make 1/2-inch deep indentations in the dough with your fingers one to two inches apart.
Pour two to four tablespoons of olive oil over the dough, letting it run down into the indentations. Spoon the topping mixture evenly over the dough. (Your prepared dough should look something like the picture.)
Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Remove the bread to a wire rack to cool for ten minutes before serving warm. Makes ten to twelve servings.
You can use this as a pizza crust or vary the toppings or spices to taste. Try onions, mushrooms, or spinach. If you don’t have olive oil, you can use melted butter or a good quality vegetable oil.
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