Happy Father’s Day! ( a couple days late)
I hope you are all celebrating Father’s Day with a little bit something special. I’ve been seeing all sorts of social media posts about people’s fathers… facebook posts, Instagram photos, selfies have been popping up everywhere. My father means the world to me so this post is dedicated to him as this bread was made for him.
My father loves bread.. I see him eating it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack. I remember when I was in high school, I would often emerge from my bedroom with the lovely smell of fresh toast. Sometimes he would even forget about his toast, and I could snag a piece out of the toaster on the way to school.
When I worked at Flour, the smell of fresh bread was like perfume to me. Even at 5AM, the smell of fresh baked bread tingled my senses and woke me up. Loaves of multigrain, sourdough, and cranberry raisin would come out fresh and hot, and I couldn’t resist a breakfast roll smothered in either butter or peanut butter. How could anyone not like bread? Let alone something with a hint of savory herbs and sprinkled generously with cheese.
This bread is very easy yet highly satisfying. It requires no equipment. You don’t need a mixer, just a little bit of elbow grease and you will have this beautiful loaf of bread. I think it makes the perfect cheesy, garlic bread but also is great with dips like white bean hummus or a homemade marinara sauce. I made mine with whole wheat flour, just to give it a little “healthy” kick, but feel free to use regular all-purpose flour if that is what you have on hand.
No Knead Easy Peasy Cheesy Herb Focaccia
Adapted from Kitchen Addition
Makes 1 9 x 13 pan
- 1 packet active dry yeast (Red Star)
- 1 ¼ cup warm water (105-115F)
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning (can substitute fresh herbs thyme or rosemary)
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp softened butter (melted is fine too)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup mozzarella, parmesan, or any kind of hard grate-able cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp dried parsley or thyme
- ¼ tsp cayenne powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
Minced onions (red onions or regular)
Olives, Grape tomatoes
Any other cheese (parmesan, cheddar, etc.) and herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.)
In a large bowl, combine the warm water with active dry yeast. The water should not be too hot, a little higher than the temperature of your body. Let the yeast bloom for 5-7 minutes. You should see some blooming or foaming of sorts, if you don’t.. don’t worry too much as long as your water was at the right temperature.
While the yeast is activating, combine the flours, sugar, salt, and herbs in a separate bowl. Whisk together the ingredients to combine.
Once the yeast mixture is ready, add the softened butter, and egg along with half of the flour mixture and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine. Beat for 1-2 minutes until mixture is smooth and there are no more lumps of softened butter.
Add the remaining flour and beat again for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and sticky.
Spray a medium sized bowl ( I used the bowl with my flour mixture) and scrape the dough mixture into the bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to let it rise for at least an hour and up to two hours.
Once batter has doubled in size, transfer to a thoroughly greased 9 x13 pan. Spread evenly across the pan into a thick rectangle. Spray a spatula so it doesn’t stick when you try to spread the batter.
Add the topping by sprinkling it all over the top of the dough. Make holes in the dough by pressing your fingers down to the bottom of the pan. I made my holes in a nice organized matrix-like fashion.
Let the dough rise again for 30 minutes. Towards the end of the 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 375F. Bake the focaccia bread for 20-22 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden brown and the sides begin to pull away from the sides.
Remove the bread from the pan, let chill for 5 minutes before cutting and serve with your favorite dips. My pick of choice would be marinara or some melted herb butter. Enjoy!!