Focaccia has been popular in Italy for centuries, but has only gained traction in North America in recent decades. This oven-baked bread is more similar to a pizza dough than what we traditionally think of as a bread product, and it can be topped with a multitude of healthy ingredients, just like a pizza! But with its slightly more gourmet flair, it’s a great serving idea at casual family get-togethers, outdoor picnics, and even dinner parties. Everyone will want a slice, and when you serve multiple choices with a variety of toppings, you’re sure to please everyone at your table.
Our rosemary focaccia is deceptive in its simplicity. Only one topping? Yes, but that topping is rosemary, an herb with a depth of flavor so complex that it stands proudly on its own. Grown in warm climates, this evergreen shrub produces a fragrant green needle that lends a piney, earthy aroma to a variety of dishes. When we pair it with extra virgin olive oil, pressed from olives that grow in a similar climate and region, the two merge to form a perfect flavor combination. Rosemary is beneficial due to its richness in iron, calcium, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Our second focaccia is made with a simple combination of cherry tomatoes and oregano. This is another example of two ingredients that, when paired together, yield powerful flavor. There’s a reason why most traditional pizzas feature both the tomato and oregano. When combined, they complement one another perfectly. Tomatoes are wel-known for their abundance of lycopene, while oregano is a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber. And because our focaccia recipe is made with whole wheat flour, each baked dish is clean and healthy as well as delicious.
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1 slice | Calories: 357 | Total Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 165 mg | Carbohydrates: 58 g | Dietary Fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 1 g | Protein: 9 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary sprigs (more if desired)
- 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 (0.8-ounce cube) fresh baker's yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4-1/2 cups whole wheat flour + extra for sprinkling
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
- For the focaccia:
- Crumble the yeast in a small bowl then add the sugar and about 1/4 cup of lukewarm water from the 1-1/2 cups. Mix well with a teaspoon until the yeast melts.
- Mix the salt with the remaining water.
- Put the flour in a large bowl (or better in a mixer) then add the yeast mixture, extra virgin olive oil and salted water.
- Mix the ingredients very well until the dough becomes smooth, elastic and a little bit sticky. If the dough is too sticky to work with, add more flour until you have a ball. Just remember that the less flour there is, the better it will be because the focaccia might come out dry.
- Take away the dough from the bowl, sprinkle some flour at the bottom of the bowl then put back the dough in the bowl.
- Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest in a warm, draft free place for 2 hours or until the volume of the dough rises to twice its size.
- After the dough rises, transfer it on a well-oiled baking pan then flatten it with your hands. The thickness should arrive at about 1 centimeter or thinner if you prefer. If you are making both focaccia, just cut it in two giving a little space in the middle.
- Once flattened, make holes all over the dough by plunging all your fingers on it then prick it with a fork. Now you are ready to put the toppings.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In one focaccia, scatter the rosemary leaves on top, sprinkle some salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- For the second focaccia, lightly squeeze the tomatoes first to send away the seeds and excess liquid then put them on the focaccia with the flat part up. Push them lightly in the dough. Sprinkle the dried oregano and salt then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Let it rise again in a warm, draft-free place for half an hour.
- Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.
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