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Fresh Tomato and Herb Focaccia Bread

This recipe for focaccia bread is actually really simple, easy, and requires minimal kneading, the hardest part of the whole process is waiting around for a few hours while it rises. Fresh Tomato and Herb Focaccia Bread is great just dipped in olive oil and a nice balsamic vinegar, along with Italian food or sliced open for sandwiches like a fried eggplant sandwich is so good on this bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 package (the equivalent of 2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt (plus a little but more to sprinkle on top of the bread before its baked)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • one very ripe tomato, sliced as thin as you can manage
  • a small amount of thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • fresh or dried herbs and spices of your choosing (here I used dried oregano, fresh rosemary, crushed red pepper and garlic powder) Some other good ones might be roasted garlic, olives, paprika, basil, parsley, cayenne, black pepper, onion powder, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and warm water. The warm water should be around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Next stir in the yeast. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes in a warm place.
  2. In the meantime, you can go ahead and whisk together the whole wheat flour and the all-purpose flour, and 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Make a well in the flour and add in the yeast mixture and 1/2 of a cup of olive oil. Stir until the dough comes together. Next, knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for just about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Coat the inside of a large bowl with 1-2 Tablespoon of your remaining olive oil and let the dough ball sit in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap, for at least one hour.
  5. Coat a sheet pan with 2-3 Tablespoons more of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the oiled pan and start pressing and stretching it out to size using your fingertips, making holes all the way through the dough as you do so.
  6. Cover the dough again and let it rise for another hour in a warm place. Then, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  7. Layer the thinly sliced onion and then tomato on the dough, along with anything else you want on top. Drizzle all the remaining olive oil and then sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.
  8. Bake 25 minutes, spinning half way through. The top should be golden brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

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