FARM HOUSE VEGETABLE FOCACCIA BREAD
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
4½ teaspoons Instant Yeast (equates two packets)
1½ cups Warm Water
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
1½ cups Robert Rothschild Farm House Vegetable Sauce
Extra flour for kneading
In a small bowl combine the warm water, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir to help dissolve the ingredients and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom.
Slightly warm the Robert Rothschild Farm House Vegetable Sauce and blend with the yeast mixture after it has bloomed.
Add the flour to a large bowl and slowly add the wet mixture.
Work the flour mixture together until all of the wet ingredients are incorporated. Dust the countertop with extra flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the floured area. The mixture will remain sticky and may need to be scraped from the bowl.
Begin to knead the mixture. To knead, using your palm and wrist push into the dough while also pushing it away from you. Then, fold the pushed portion back on top the remaining dough. Rotate the dough and repeat the process. Push, fold back and rotate. Approximately 15-20 times. Additional flour will be needed as you go along to remove the stickiness of the dough. The goal is to finish with a satiny ball of dough that will maintain its shape. Be careful not to add so much flour that the dough becomes dry or hard. It should remain pliable but with structure.
Use 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil to coat the dough and a mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and lightly covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm area. Allow the dough to almost double in size.
Use 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to lightly grease a baking pan (approximately 9x13in). Pat the dough out evenly to each corner of the pan. Brush the remaining olive oil on top the dough and cover with a slightly damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise for an additional 20 minutes in a warm place.
When the second rise is complete, evenly poke finger holes across the dough and place into a 350° F preheated oven. Bake until evenly and lightly browned across the top of the bread.
Remove from pan and cut into sandwich-sized squares or serve as a side to salads and pasta.
The temperature of the water to bloom the yeast is important. Too hot and the yeast will die. Too cold, and it may never activate. Try to stay within a temperature range of 105° F and 110° F.
Do not pack the flour when measuring. It is better to “fluff” the flour prior to measuring and gently fill the cup a spoon at a time. The temperature that will allow the dough to rise is 100° F to 115° F without direct heat.
Focaccia can be shaped into any type of pan cast iron to glass and round to square in shape. Get creative!