Olives Focaccia

After I decided that we would have Shrimp Scampi for dinner Saturday, I was thinking I would make the Olive Focaccia that PW had made.  I had printed the recipe before, and saved it until I had time to make it.  PW made her Focaccia look not only beautiful but delicious-looking as well.  My mouth is always watering when I look at her food.  But, every time I think about making this Focaccia, I always think about it too late.  Usually, I only have maybe an hour or two before dinner time, which doesn’t give me enough time to let the bread rise.  Which was the same case Saturday.  You see, PW’s Focaccia took at least two and half hours to rise, which involves time I didn’t have.  So I looked online and searched for a quick Focaccia recipe, and would just use the bread part and threw in the olives like PW did on hers.  I guess, if I wanted to eat some olives, I could just have eaten olives.  But, there is this notion of eating olives inside your bread that was just appetizing and mouth watering.

I ended up finding this recipe from Allrecipes.com.  It also uses less flour than PW’s so it would be a smaller batch of Focaccia.  Afterall, there are only two of us.  The recipe only requires 20 minutes for the bread to rise, so I decided to give this recipe a go.

So, I pulled out the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, olives (green, black and kalamata) and olive oil. The other ingredient I needed was water.

 

 

First I dumped the flour into my Mixer’s mixing bowl.  You see, I haven’t used much of my new mixer.  I only used it a few times, and every time I use it, I am getting to really like it! In fact, I love it!  It was a powerful and sturdy machine, and KitchenAid didn’t skimp on quality either.  That’s what I like most about my mixer.

 

 

Then I added the salt…

 

 

Sugar…

 

 

Yeast…  Now this part confounded me a little.  Usually when I deal with yeast, the yeast got proofed first.  But not this recipe…

 

 

Then oil…

 

 

Water, which I nuked in the microwave a little bit, even though the recipe didn’t call for warm water.  It wasn’t hot water, but not quite lukewarm water either.  I know yeast loves warm water so that they will thrive.

 

 

Then all of the ingredients were ready to be mixed!

 

 

I turned on my mixer, and within minutes I got the dough ready!  I was smiling all the way to town when it happened.  A process that can take me 5- 10 minutes to knead took no time at all!

 

 

Then I poured some olive oil in the same mixing bowl… what happened to the dough? You’ll see in the next picture…

 

 

They were still hanging on the paddle!  🙂  I had to hurry up though, because they started to come off lose from the paddle.

 

 

I balled up the dough and dropped it in the mixing bowl, turned the dough over so every surface was covered with oil.  The purpose of this?  So the dough would not stick to the mixing bowl…  That’s all…

 

 

Then I covered it with a plastic wrap, and hid it into the oven with the pilot light on.  The pilot light usually gives enough of awarm place for the dough to rise.

 

 

I then started working on the olives.  The black and the green ones were already pitted, but the Kalamata olives were not.  So I squeezed the Kalamata olives and pitted the seed out.

 

 

Then gave them a rough chop…

 

 

And set them aside in a bowl.  I also patted them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

 

 

Then I got out the cookie sheet and drizzled some olive oil on it.

 

 

Meanwhile, my dough has risen up a little bit.  Since I was in a time crunch, I went ahead and pulled it out of the oven.

 

 

Dumped the dough into a dusted cutting board with flour… I like to touch the dough.  It had that yeast smell and warm to the touch… 🙂  I don’t know…  I guess it is kinda magic that something living causes the concoction to double up like that.

 

 

Dumped the olives on top of it…

 

 

Kneaded the olives in a little bit…

 

 

Until they were all tangled up inside the dough…

 

 

Then spread and rolled them out the dough on the cookie sheet.

 

 

Covered them up with plastic sheet again and hid them inside the oven again…

 

 

And pulled them out after 20 minutes, drizzled olive oil on top of the dough…

 

 

Used a pastry brush to baste the oil to all of the surface of the dough..

 

 

Sprinkled kosher salt…

 

 

Poke holes into the dough… this was the fun part.. 🙂

 

 

Then it was ready to be baked!

 

 

And 15-20 minutes later it was done!

 

 

You can see the olives and kosher salt on the bread… yummy….

 

 

I cut it up into squares…  Took a bite…  And it was really good.  There were areas of the bread that was a little hard – but I was fine with that, since I didn’t really let the dough rise to its full capacity.  In a perfect world, the Focaccia would have taste even better.  As it was, I couldn’t stop eating it, and I had to make myself stop eating and freeze the left over.  Next time though, I would proof the yeast first and see what will happen.  So, it was a perfect and tasty Italian dinner we had that Saturday night.  It sure beats going out to eat…  There is a certain satisfaction knowing that I had made a pretty good dinner that night…  I am really getting to enjoy cooking!

 

 

Print recipe here.

Olives Focaccia
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com and Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup warm water
1 cup of chopped olives (any mix you want)

Directions

Proof yeast by putting the yeast into the warm water.  Let sit in warm place for about 10 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, oil, and yeast mixture.  Mix until dough has pulled together.  Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic.   (If using a mixer, use paddle attachment, run mixer on low speed on until all of the dough comes together).
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Add chopped olives into the dough, knead a little bit until olives are incorporated into the dough.
Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet.  Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.  Let rest for another 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Using fingertips, press the dough so there are dimples all over the surface.  Brush top with olive oil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

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