I love baking bread, but since we’re a family of three and can’t always eat it at once, I’m drawn to small batch recipes. This one is particularly great — or it is if you like rosemary focaccia. Originally found in Small-Batch Baking: When Just Enough for 1 or 2. . . Is Just Enough!, the recipe makes enough for a two to four people.
The dough can be kneaded by hand, or you can do what I do and throw it in the food processor and knead with a dough hook. Over the years I’ve recorded the gram amounts and have updated the recipe to include the weights that go with the volume amounts. Parmesan cheese and olives make the bread a little more exciting, but if you are watching dairy or have a family member who doesn’t eat cheese, top the loaf with roasted colored peppers or sliced olives or leave as-is. Either way it’s a good bread and pretty easy to throw together.
This is a rather fluffy focaccia. It’s soft and tender and reminds me of the focaccia made at a grocery store here in Chicago called Eataly. For the topping, I like to thaw out a big handful of frozen tri-color peppers, pat out all the water with paper towels, then lay the peppers across the risen dough along with some olives, rosemary and maybe a little cheese to hold it all in place.
- 1/2 cup very warm water
- 1 1/8 teaspoons yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I use a full teaspoon)
- 1 1/4 cups bread flour (all-purpose is okay) -- 170 grams
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I use 3/4 Morton kosher**)
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped plus more for top (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Cornmeal for baking sheet (Can just use parchment if desired)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- Extra olive oil
- Sliced olives
- In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, stir together warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit until bubbly and foamy (about 5 minutes).
- In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt and rosemary. Add yeast mixture to flour and stir well. Stir in olive oil.
- Put the dough in a food processor with a dough blade attached or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead with one of the machines (or by hand, if you prefer) until smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a bowl coated with olive oil. Cover with dish towel and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Place cornmeal on a cookie sheet (or just line it with parchment or nonstick foil). Turn dough onto cornmeal and form into a 6 inch circle. Make some finger-size indentations. Brush with extra olive oil. Sprinkle with cheese, extra rosemary and olives if using.
- Cover loosely with a piece of greased plastic wrap or with an inverted mixing bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.