1.5teaspoondry active yeastor 1 teaspoon instant yeast
1teaspoonsaltor 1.5 teaspoon salt. i added 1.5 tsp
for the herb oil
2tablespoonchopped basilor any fresh herb or a mix of herbs
4-5tablespoonextra virgin olive oil
¼ or ½teaspoonred chili powder(lal mirch powder) or paprika
preparing the herb oil for focaccia bread
Rinse, dry and chop the basil leaves. Warm the olive oil in a bowl.
Add the basil leaves, red chili powder or paprika.
Stir well and let the basil leaves steep in the warm oil for atleast 30 minutes.
preparing the focaccia bread dough
Warm the 1.25 cup water in a bowl. Dissolve the sugar in the water.
Add the active dry yeast and stir.
Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for 10 to 12 minutes or till the mixture becomes frothy and bubbles up.
If kneading in a stand mixer - in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, salt and oil. Mix at the lower speed of the mixer. Add the yeast solution.
Then with the speed level required for your mixer for kneading dough, knead the dough for some minutes, till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky.
If kneading by hands, then first add about 2 cups flour, salt and oil in the bowl.
Mix with a wooden spoon. Then add 1/2 of the yeast solution and mix again.
Add 1 cup flour and remaining half of the yeast mixture. Continue to mix and stir.
Add the last 1 cup flour and stir till the mixture begins to hold itself.
Remove from the bowl and on a smooth work surface, knead the dough till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky. If the dough becomes too sticky, then add some flour and knead. If the dough looks dry and crumbly, then add a few tablespoons of water and knead.
Keep the dough in a greased deep bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or lid or plastic wrap.
You can also lightly coat the dough with olive oil or water and then keep in a deep bowl and cover the bowl.
Allow the dough to leaven for 1:30 mins or 2 hours.
When the dough is leavened and doubled, remove from the bowl.
making focaccia bread
Flatten the dough on your work surface.
Divide into two equal parts for making two large focaccia.
Grease the pan with olive oil. Flatten one part of the dough lightly and place on the pan. Flatten a bit on the pan.
Now pour 1/4 or 1/2 of the herb oil on the dough.
With your fingers, indent or dimple the flour keeping approx 1/2 inch width in the bread and continue to flatten as you do so.
Cover with a lid or kitchen towel and allow to leaven again for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to at least 20 minutes before you bake the focaccia. Preheat to 200 degrees c.
After 30-40 minutes, you can add 1/4 of the oil again and dimple lightly.
If you have added 1/2 of the oil before, then no need to add oil again.
The remaining 1/2 of the oil you will use for the second focaccia loaf. Sprinkle some salt on the bread.
baking focaccia bread
Now bake the bread in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes or till the surface has become golden.
Remove from the pan and allow the bread to cool on wired racks.
Slice the basil focaccia when warm or cooled down and serve immediately.