Feta Focaccia Bread

Feta Focaccia Bread

Golden and flecked with cheeses and herbs, this chewy bread looks and tastes like one you’d get from an Italian bakery.
measuring spoons, drinking cup, plastic wrap, measuring cups, bowl, baking spatula, dinner knife, baking sheet, parchment paper, pastry brush
1 tsp (5 mL) white sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) quick-rise yeast
1 cup (250 mL) very warm (but not hot) water (see “Yeast”)
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
½ tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) crumbled feta cheese
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sliced black olives, if you like
½ tsp (2 mL) dried parsley
  1. Put the sugar and yeast in a drinking cup. Add the warm water. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to stand for 10 minutes to let the yeast turn foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, using a baking spatula, mix the 2 cups (500 mL) flour, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt. Scrape in the foamy yeast mixture and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil (the other tablespoon of oil is for later). Stir well. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. After the dough has risen, sprinkle 1 Tbsp (15 mL) flour onto it. Then flour your hands and squeeze the tablespoon of flour into the dough. It will be very stretchy and loose. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Press the dough into a ¾-inch (2 cm) thick slab—it doesn’t matter what shape you make it.
  5. Use a pastry brush to brush the dough with the remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Let the dough rise another 30 minutes in a warm spot, uncovered.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  7. After the dough has risen again, use your pointer finger to poke down into the dough every 2 inches (5 cm) or so. When making your pokes, don’t be afraid to push all the way down until your finger can feel the baking sheet underneath. The dough should look puffy and dotted with little dimples all over it.
  8. Sprinkle on the cheeses, olives (if using), and dried parsley.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes, or until the bread is golden.
Makes 1 loaf of Feta Focaccia Bread.

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