For this month We knead To Bake aparna of My Diverse Kitchen chose A very easy to make and delicious bread Focaccia Caprese . Foccacia was in my to do list and am so glad that I made this Italian bread. Focaccia is a popular Italian bread , As it looks same as pizza topped with cheese some people say this as square pizza but they are entirely different from pizza. Focaccia is the spongier than the pizza base and are thick than pizza base .Foccacia can be made with different italian toppings like potato , olives . But here is an variation influenced by capri region in italy . If you have made caprese salad you will know that topping is mainly influenced but the ingredients used in that salad - Mozzarella, Tomato and basil.
In olden days was made without any topping and just the herbed oil was spread .You can make them in any shape you want , I made them in single square cake pan , You can make them thin if you prefer rustic breads. Focaccia can be served Hot or cold , we enjoyed them warm with a bowl of soup for dinner and just love it !!
Adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer
For the Dough
2 tsp Instant yeast
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour/ All purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil ( I used olive oil)
1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
A little more olive oil for brushing dough
For the Topping
4-5 large tomatoes, sliced thin
1 6-7” round piece of fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into1/4” slices
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
For the Herbed Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp finely minced garlic/ paste
Salt to taste
Fresh basil leaves for garnishing ( optional ) - ( I didn't get basil so garnished them with mint leaves)
- First make the herbed oil. In a bowl put all the ingredients under "for herbed oil" and whisk them together. Keep this aside till required.
- I made the dough with hand but it can be made in precessor too.
- In a bowl put the yeast, sugar, flour, salt and oil and them mix well.
- Then add 1 cup of warm water (as needed) and knead until the dough is soft elastic.
- Then remove the dough shape into a round and grease the bowl well and place turning the dough around so it is coated slightly grease the top of dough too.
- Cover and rest it for about one hour or till is rises double in size.
- You can make this as 2 medium sized Focaccia or 4 smaller ones like I did. For the rectangular Focaccia, take two rectangular pans/Swiss roll pans (I used an 11" by 7" tins) and grease them well. Then divide the dough into two equal portions and lightly roll them (or press out) out into approximately 11” by 7”.
- If you are making 4 Focaccia, then divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion out (or press out) evenly into approximately 5” by 7”.
- It is alright with they are odd shaped as foccacia is a rustic bread.
- Transfer the dough to the baking tins. Dough will shrink whil lifting and placing. Use your fingers and push it out a bit making sure it’s evenly thick throughout.
- Now let it rise for 20 minutes. Lightly oil your finger tips and press into the dough creating evenly spaced “dimples” in it.
- Brush the surface with oil.
- Bake at 210C (410F) for about 18 to 20 minutes till it is almost done and is beginning to turn golden brown. Take the Focaccia out and increase the heat of your oven to 230C (450F).
- Lightly drizzle some of the Herbed Oil over the Focaccia and then evenly arrange some slices of mozzarella over the bread, leaving very little space between them.
- Arrange the tomato slices over this and a little sprinkle the chopped basil over it.
- Drizzle some more Herbed Oil over the topping and bake the bread again for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has just melted.
- Remove from oven then garnish the with basil leaves
- Cut the Focaccia into slices and serve while it is still hot with bowl of soup.