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Terry & Dave Taylor

RV Focaccia

RV Focaccia

This recipe is unlikely to win a James Beard Award. It is unconventional. It requires no kneading. No bread machine. It simply makes a yummy slab of fluffy focaccia without much effort. Not only is it easy, it basically prepares itself - with basic ingredients - while you are out enjoying your day. The only "special equipment" required is a little parchment paper.

3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for brushing top of bread)
1½ cups all-purpose flour, divided (plus additional for dusting)

Place the water in a medium bowl and sprinkle the yeast over. Let the yeast soften for ten minutes. Stir with a whisk. Add the salt, sugar and olive oil and whisk well. Add one cup of the flour and whisk until very smooth. Stir in the additional half-cup of flour with a rubber spatula. Beat very well with the spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate all day.

About two hours before dinner, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust the paper with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a rubber spatula to turn it out (in one blob) onto the parchment paper. Using lightly floured hands, press the dough out to a circle (or square, whatever!) shape, about 3/4-inch high. Lay a kitchen towel over the dough and let it rise in a warm place for about 60 to 90 minutes, or until nearly doubled in height.

Heat oven to 375°. Use your finger to carefully punch a few holes into the risen dough. Drizzle with olive oil and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until browned on top and sides and loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

RV Focaccia

NOTES: This recipe is very adaptable. Try substituting a little whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose flour, stirring in a few seeds or nuts, or mixing herbs directly into the dough.

And while olive oil is lovely as a topping on focaccia, I usually add a few herbs and salt to a tablespoon of olive oil and drizzle/brush it over the top of the dough before baking. The loaf pictured above had a clove of minced garlic, a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary and a pinch of Kosher salt. Use whichever herbs suit your mood or your menu.

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