herbed focaccia with olives, spinach & white cheddar

my friend paige is an avid bread-baker who is constantly extolling the virtues of homemade bread. she’s right, too–contrary to popular opinion, breads & doughs are actually quite easy to master (& this is coming from someone who much prefers cooking to baking). i’ve made croissants, pull-apart breads, beet bread, breadsticks & many a homemade pizza & much to my own surprise, these yeasty creations always turn out fine. paige herself regularly makes pita pockets, sandwich breads & most recently a loaf of challah that she accidentally left at my apartment (we’ll see how long that lasts in my kitchen). she finally convinced me to check out the focaccia recipe on the king arthur flour website & i’m oh-so-glad i did. it was super simple & easy to customize for my own mediterranean palate. keep reading for my spin on this simple classic.

-3 cups flour
-1 tbsp instant yeast
-1 1/4 tsp salt
-1 tbsp dried rosemary
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 1/2 cups warm water
-3 tbsp olive oil
-3/4 cup wilted spinach (from 5 oz. raw — heat a tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat, add spinach & cook for a couple minutes until wilted)
-1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise into fourths
-3/4 cup (packed) high quality white cheddar cheese, shredded

1) grease a 9×13 pan well & set aside.
2) combine flour, yeast, salt, rosemary & garlic in a large mixing bowl.
3) add water & olive oil, stirring first with a wooden spoon then kneading with your hands.
4) knead in remaining ingredients.
5) press dough into prepared 9×13 pan & let dough rise for about an hour.
6) meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
7) when dough has risen, use your finger to poke dents in the surface of the dough.
8) bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden-brown.
9) cool in pan for five minutes before turning onto a wire rack. you might need a spatula to help guide the loaf out of the pan.

*makes 12 servings. thank you, paige & king arthur flour! this recipe is a keeper for pairing with salads, cheeses, or cups of soup. i would love to hear other people’s takes on this focaccia!

About Christina

Milwaukee-based bon vivant. Lover of food, yoga, design, good words & loving kindness.
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