Remember sitting at an Italian restaurant, eating antipasti while enjoying a nice slice of Foccacia bread, dipping it in olive oil?
Foccacia bread is just as important to the Italians as pizza, if not more. They tend to eat it throughout the year and will serve it with different dishes, as antipasti, a snack with olive oil and some are even sweet to be consumed with coffee.
There are no real rules for what a Foccacia bread should look like, and what toppings you should use. That said, the most common toppings are garlic, pitted olives, dried tomatoes, rosemary, cheese, sage, and onions.
I’m pretty sure that Mama Corleone would make me sleep with the fishes for attempting to make the sacred Italian bread, but I have to try. My confidence levels are high these days with several successful dishes delivered this week alone, using my Traeger.
Roll up your sleeve, find your apron (yes, we wear aprons when in the kitchen), and prepare your work surface. You need a clean dry surface.
While you are at it, find a nice large baking tray for the bread.
Next step, find all your ingredients. It is much easier to put them out on the kitchen counter, to begin with, rather than finding them gradually as you need them. It is easier to forget something that way. Stay organized my tiny flour worm!
- 1/4 cup of hot water
- 1 packet of dry active yeast
- 2 teaspoon of honey
- 1 cup of cold water
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 cups of regular flour
- 2 tablespoons of roasted garlic
Once you have assembled the troops, it is time to start baking. And baking starts with a large bowl, your measuring cup, and cool music. Perhaps some ‘Ultimate Rat Pack‘ for the Italian vibe?
Shout out Volare and let’s go!
- Pour the hot water and honey into your mixing bowl
- Use a fork to make sure the honey has dissolved
- Add the dry yeast and let it sit for 5-10-15 minutes … until it foams
- While we wait for the yeast to foam, roast the garlic on a pan, with a tablespoon of olive oil – just long enough for the garlic to darken
- Add the cup of water, olive oil, salt, and your freshly roasted garlic
- Turn your mixer on, and make sure you are using the bread hook
- Slowly add the flour, cup by cup
- Run the mixer for 10-12 minutes, kneading the dough slowly
- Heat your oven to 200F, and once it reaches 200F, turn it off
- Place the dough in a glass or metal bowl, inside the oven
- The rising time will be reduced using this method
- Check the dough after 30-40 minutes.
- Once doubled in size, you are ready for the next steps
- Grease your baking tray with olive oil
- Shape the dough to your liking. I’m Danish, so I need to keep it nice and square, hence I stretch the dough to reach all edges and corners
- Tap your fingers all over the dough, to make little pockets/holes, giving it the classic surface of the Foccacia bread
- Sprinkle the bread with olive oil
- Decorate the bread with your topping of choice (I prefer black olives)
- Drizzle some dried herbs over the final result
- Cover the dough with a tea towel, and let it rest for another hour
- With 15 minutes to go, preheat your Traeger for 400F
- When the bread has rested for an hour and when your Traeger is 400F, place the bread inside your Traeger – center
- bake the bread for 30-40 minutes. It depends on the size of your bread, the thickness, and the efficiency of your Traeger.
- I would recommend setting your alarm to 30 minutes.
- Once the surface of the bread is brown and golden, it is ready.
- Remove it from the grill and let it cool off 10-15 minutes
Slicing and sharing the Foccacia is your choice. I’m pretty sure your dinner guests will be impressed with this creation, and don’t be surprised if they nipple on the bread all evening.