I haven’t been to a Macaroni Grill in years, but what I remember most about the restaurant (other than the opera singers) is their Rosemary Focaccia. I’ve made the Macaroni Grill copycat, and while it is very good, it calls for semolina flour. I don’t usually have the semolina flour, but I always have all-purpose and think this all-purpose flour version is just as good.
The original Rosemary Focaccia is from The Gourmet Cookbook. This is a halved version which makes just enough to fill a 9 inch square or a 12×8 inch rectangular dish.
In the past couple of years I’ve been a little creative with it and have baked it in a 12×8 inch glass pan with various toppings. The red around the edge is sun dried tomato pesto and the middle part has olive oil, rosemary, peppers and Asiago cheese. The glass pan gives the focaccia crustier edges, so if you have a glass pan you might want to pull it out for this one.
Update: Here’s the latest photo. This is just the dough right after the second rise and ready to go in the oven. I really like how the glass dish makes focaccia a little crustier, so these days I almost always pull out the glass dish for rosemary focaccia. You can also use this version as a sandwich bread. I don’t think focaccia sandwiches are as trendy as they used to be, but who cares right?
- 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons water 7 oz
- 1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast half a packet
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading 320 grams
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided use
- 1 teaspoon table salt or use 1 1/4 for saltier flavor
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Stir 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand for 5 minutes. If using quick or rapid rise yeast, skip this step and just mix the yeast with the flour.
- Add flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt and beat until a dough forms. With a dough hook (or you can do it by hand) knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Note: Lately I've just been leaving it in the mixing bowl. This is a soft dough.
- Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Press dough evenly into a 9 inch square baking pan lined with non-stick foil or parchment. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Stir together rosemary and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Make shallow indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with rosemary oil, letting it pool in indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 minutes.
- Immediately invert a rack over pan and flip focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Thanks for trying it! I need to make a batch this week.
I made this tonight and it was a wonderful addition to Minestrone. I made it exactly as stated and it was easy and delicious. I was a bit concerned because my dough did not rise that much during the proofing, but it turned out great. The top has a nice salty bite, and my husband said it tasted like it came from a restaurant. I always love that compliment!!
I love Focaccia… and yet like everyone else it seems.. have never bothered to make it. Granted I haven’t made any “true” breads yet. I was going to do cornbread for Easter dinner, but I think I might replace it with this (or even better.. do both :)). Thanks for the reminder :).
Lala, I haven’t tried this particular recipe with instant yeast. Usually, you can substitute, but you mix the instant yeast directly into the flour rather than proof it. I wish I could give you a better answer, but since I haven’t substituted in this recipe it’s best to just check Google.
Jenny, I think whole wheat would be fine, but the volume might need to be changed accordingly.
Dawn, I don’t usually dip focaccia because there’s already so much oil in the bread. I know a lot of people do, though.
Jenny W (The Housewife Project)
I would like to try this one! I recently discovered my kids love the rosemary bread I can buy at a local bakery, so I bet they’d love this even more. I wonder what would happen if you substituted whole wheat flour for half of the white?
Can I use instant yeast with this? That’s the only yeast I buy now and I have 1 big jar in the freezer. Thanks.
I made focaccia this week using an avocado from our tree for both the liquid and the oil.
ohh me too, i just love some warm focaccia with flavored dipping oil before a meal. so good isn’t it?
did you eat yours with a dipping oil?
If you like bread made with semolina flour, here is a link to a recipe I loosely follow for Semolina Wheat Bread….it is delicious and perfect for sandwiches. I like it cause the semolina flour makes it rise really well but it’s half whole wheat flour (I like white whole wheat flour) It’s my husband’s favorite too, I make it in my bread machine on the dough setting then just do the second rise for about an hour and bake in a loaf pan. http://kitchenilliterate.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/semolina-wheat-bread/
I don’t think I’ve ever made focaccia at home either. I bought some semolina flour a few months ago and need reasons to use it, so I’ll have to look up that one, too.
Corinne, that does sound interesting. I guess it depends on the type of applesauce you use. BTW, this focaccia really does slice well. It could easily be used for sandwiches.
Interesting that you posted this the day after I made your bread sticks! I love focaccia but for some reason I haven’t made it at home. We make all of our other bread so there’s no reason not to make this once in awhile.
Looks good! This sounds gross, but I made a similar focaccia last year, sliced it in half and used it to make applesauce paninis. They were super popular! Worth trying=)