In some ways, this is a TBT post. Many, many years ago, I found a book on making focaccia at some bookstore or another. It’s a small volume, but what was significant for me was learning how to a multi-stage bread: one that requires a starter or sponge that ferments and that then is incorporated into the dough. The focaccia made from the recipes in that book were a revelation for me – they were a thick risen slab adorned with garlic, herbs, olive oil and salt. I made focaccia religiously every Christmas, as it was one of my uncle’s favorite foods. I rarely, if ever, found time to make it any other time of year.
Some time ago, when I was doing some Pinterest browsing for bread, I came across a no-rise focaccia recipe. As much as I would like to take the time to make a full sponge, full rise focaccia, I find that I just don’t have the time. No-rise bread comes to the rescue on those nights when focaccia makes sense as a side and I haven’t done any sort of planning ahead to make the real deal.
This is also a great side for a lunch salad. It’s easy to make the night before, and in the recipe below, easily makes two cake pans worth of bread. For the first dozen times I made this recipe, I used fresh rosemary, chopped finely, for the topping. Since we moved, I don’t have a rosemary plant yet, so have used red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings and salt instead.
Quick and Easy Focaccia
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour
Chopped rosemary and salt or dried Italian Seasonings and red pepper flakes to top
Olive oil to drizzle
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Split the dough into two sections and spread them into two well-oiled eight-inch cake pans. Drizzle with olive oil and top with seasonings. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.