Fantastic Vegan Focaccia

This is a popular bread in my family, it’s quick, easy and delicious. My Dad and I would make it all the time to go with pasta dishes, soups, or to make sandwiches out of. The key is to  give it enough time to rise. I’ve been impatient and ended up with a heavy, dry loaf of focaccia. Sprinkle with additional toppings or fold in herbs while kneading the dough for a more distinct flavour. It is also amazing dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar as an appetizer.

Olive Oil Bread: Focaccia (makes 1 loaf)

2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Optional toppings:
whole garlic cloves
halved black olives
re-hydreated or oil-packed sundried tomatoes
rosemary or other fresh herbs of your liking
Caramelized Onions

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add salt, oil, and sugar. Slowly add in flour until it forms a manageable ball. Dump out on to a floured surface to knead. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes, until it is elastic and smooth. Place in a bowl with a few tablespoons of oil, flipping the ball over so it is completely coated in oil. Place in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour.

On a cold day I’ll turn my oven on for 3 minutes or so to just warm it up a little. I’ll then place the bowl in the oven with the door open.

Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, push or punch it down. Shape the dough into round metal baking pan or a sheet. I prefer to use a cake pan or the like to get a softer edge around the bread. Make little wells in the bread with your fingers and drizzle olive oil over the top. Return to you warm spot and allow to rise for a least 30 minutes or until it starts to look puffy again. While it’s going through the second rise, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Sprinkle with salt and add any other toppings you like. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to look a little golden on top. Remove from oven and pan and allow to cool on a rack for about 5  minutes before serving.

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