How can anyone sane not like this Italian bread? It’s perfectly crisp on the outside and amazingly soft and chewy inside, not to mention that it has tons of flavors! It is wonderful sliced in half and eaten as a sandwich; you may not even slice it at all and just dig in. After a bite and you will agree, this is one of Italy’s gifts to the epicurean world.
For the dough
- 4 cups of all – purpose unbleached flour
- ¼ cup of all – purpose unbleached flour for dusting
- 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 and ½ cup of water, lukewarm
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- ¼ cup of high quality extra virgin olive oil
For the topping
- 2 tablespoons of high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of fresh garlic
- ¼ cup of sun – dried tomato
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and then chopped
- 10 pieces black olives, pitted and quartered
- 1 tablespoon of table salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon of rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- Open your Garlic Shaker®. Toss an entire head of garlic into it. Close the lids. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Open a lid. Pour out the peeled cloves.
- Using a deep, large bowl, combine the yeast with ½ cup of lukewarm water and sugar. Stir gently until dissolved and let stand for 3 minutes, or until foam begins to appear.
- Sift the flour and salt together into a large, deep bowl. Make a hole in the center of the mixture and then add the yeast.
- Pour the water little by little to form the dough.
- Sprinkle flour on a clean, flat surface and dump the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic enough.
- Place the rounded dough inside a well-oiled bowl, then cover with cling wrap to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. The trick is to leave it in a warm area, like on a windowsill.
- Place the dough on a flour sprinkled surface. Using a rolling pin, stretch the dough into about ½ inch thick round shape.
- Place the flattened dough on a 9 inches, greased round pan and cover again with cling wrap. Let rest for about 15 minutes more.
- Preheat the oven to about 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the top portion of the garlic cloves, about ½ inch off.
- Drizzle the cloves with olive oil, cover with aluminium foil and bake at 450 Degrees Fahrenheit, or until the garlic is soft.
- Remove garlic from foil and let cool. Set aside.
- Remove the cling wrap from the rested dough. Make small dents in the dough using your fingertips.
- Using a pastry brush, cover the surface with olive oil and then add the roasted garlic, olives, sun – dried tomato, jalapeno, rosemary and oregano.
- Add salt and pepper as desired.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes at 400 Degrees Fahrenheit, or until golden brown.
- Let cool and wait for about 15 minutes more before slicing. Serve at room temperature.
Number of servings: 8 servings of roasted garlic and rosemary focaccia.