Thursday, November 22, 2012

Olive Focaccia Recipe

Olive Focaccia

I’m on an olive kick! Olive haters: please bear with me. This soon shall pass. Olive lovers: this is a great recipe to make when you have a couple of half-jars of olives languishing in your fridge (Admit it. You have them!) It’s olive focaccia—a flat Italian-style bread I make with my all-time favorite pizza crust. You can use whatever combination of olives you like—everything from pimento-stuffed little numbers to ultra-strong Kalamatas.

Here’s what you need! Flour, kosher salt, olive oil, active dry yeast, and olives. Simple!

Begin by pouring warm water into a bowl. Not hot to the touch, but not just lukewarm, either.

Sprinkle in the yeast.

Let this sit for about ten minutes.

Place the flour and kosher salt in a mixing bowl…

Turn the mixer on low and drizzle in the olive oil (about a third a cup).

After about ten minutes, pour the water/yeast mixture into the bowl.

Mix on low speed…

Until the dough just comes together. It’ll be on the sticky side!

Drizzle a little olive oil in a clean bowl…

And toss the ball of dough in the oil. cover the bowl with a tea towel or some plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour and a half. Fly. Fly away. Go live your life.
But only for 90 minutes.

Grab whatever combo of olives you want.

Give the olives a rough chop, then use a couple of paper towels to blot the excess moisture.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Mmmm. Carbs.

Give the dough a little knead (just a few seconds) then dump the olives over the top.

Knead the dough just enough times for the olives to be completely worked into the dough.

Divide the dough in half, the roll each dough into a large oval/rectangle.

Drizzle two baking pans/cookie sheets with olive oil.

Place the halves on their respective cookie sheets, then drizzle olive oil and lightly smear it over the surface.

Cover each half with plastic wrap and set them aside in a draft-free place.

After an hour, carefully remove the plastic wrap and use your fingertips to press dimples all over the surface of the dough.


Keep going with your fingertips until the entire surface is dimpled. Oh, and these are not my fingers. The alien from the movie Signs is visiting my house again this week, and he wanted to borrow my wedding ring and make focaccia. Aliens these days. They’re such demanding houseguests!

Drizzle/brush plenty of olive oil over the surface, then sprinkle on some kosher salt. Yum.

Then bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Yum!

Slice it with a pizza cutter.

And serve.

And the most important part: EAT. You’ll be very glad you did.
Note that you can use this basic recipe to make lots of different varieties of focaccia: leave it plain and just sprinkle with kosher salt, add chopped rosemary, caramelized onions, some Parmesan. Use your imagination!
I never met a focaccia I didn’t like.
Here’s the handy dandy printable:

Recipe: Olive Focaccia

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  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 1-1/2 cup Warm Water
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Olives (any Variety Or Combination), Roughly Chopped
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • Kosher Salt, For Sprinkling

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Warm a non-metal mixing bowl in the microwave until warm. Coat it with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.
To make focaccia, blot olives with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Place chopped olives on top of the dough, then very gently knead the olives into the dough. (Don't overknead!) Divide dough in half and roll each half into a large, thin oval/rectangle. Place on separate sheet pans (or cookie sheets) drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle more olive oil on top of the ovals, then cover each one with plastic wrap. Put in a draft-free/warm place for one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap (dough will be puffy) and use your fingertips to press dimples all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle surface with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until focaccia is golden brown.
Cut into pieces with a pizza wheel or sharp knife. Serve immediately.


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