Olive Oil and Herb Focaccia Bread

What is better than fresh baked bread? 
What about easy, herby fresh baked bread, drenched in an herby, garlic olive oil?
This easy herb focaccia bread is just the kind of bread I want to make when I want the whole house to smell like I’ve been baking all day. It’s easy enough for a weeknight (it’s pretty hands off, you’ll just need a few hours for it to rise) and makes a great sandwich bread. It also freezes beautifully, tuck a few pieces away and toast them for breakfast or to go with dinner.
This easy version goes heavy on the herbs and salt, which makes it a great stand-alone bread. It has a crusty golden outside and a nice chewy inside. But, baking it in a 9×13 pan gives it a nice density and height, making it a great sandwich bread. In fact, for dinner tonight we made ABLT’s (that would be your traditional Bacon/Lettuce/Tomato combo + Avocado) and I would highly recommend you do the same if you’re making this easy herb focaccia bread.  Use whatever herbs you have on hand for this, the more the better. I used lemon basil, rosemary, chives and oregano.
Easy herb Focaccia

Olive Oil and Herb Focaccia Bread

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (more for kneading if needed)
  • 1¾ cups warm water
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling
  1. In your mixer using a dough hook combine the flour, yeast, sugar, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and mix in low speed until combined. Add ½ cup of olive oil and water and mix the dough for 5-6 minutes on medium speed, until is lifts off the bottom of the bowl and is smooth and soft. Sprinkle in more flour if the dough seems too sticky, a drizzle more oil if it feels too dry.
  2. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand 1 or 2 times- adding a bit more flour if dough is sticky.
  3. Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl, turning the dough so it’s coated. Cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
  4. Combine your chopped herbs with the remaining oil. Coat the bottom of the pan with some of the oil and herb mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of flaky salt in the bottom of the pan. Shape the dough into the pan and use your fingers to dimple and spread it out to the edges. Flip the dough over and continue to press and dough into the pan and out to the edges, ensuring the dough is evenly coated in oil. Drizzle and spread the remaining oil and herb mixture evenly on the top.
  5. Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size again, about another hour. It should rise to fill the depth of the pan and look puffy and full. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Season liberally with flaky sea salt and lightly drizzle a little oil on top, if the bread looks dry. Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
 Notes: Mix up your toppings! Suggestions: cheese, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, sun dried tomato, olives, seasonings, etc! Sprinkle a little salt in the bottom of the pan with the olive oil, that will add flavor to the bottom, which will also get nice and crusty. Save some extra herbs for a flavored oil for dipping: just olive oil + fresh herbs and a pinch of salt (I suggest a pinch of chili flakes too!)
Easy Focaccia Bread

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