focaccia with assorted toppings

Make focaccia to accompany your suppertime favorites. Enjoy them all year with these recipe variations. 

Makes 2 (10-inch) loaves
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  1. 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  3. 6 cups bread flour, divided
  4. 1 (12-ounce) bottle warm IPA beer (105° to 110°)
  5. 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar
  7. 1/4 cup water
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 2 teaspoons coarse cornmeal
  1. In a small saucepan, cook olive oil and garlic over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and remove garlic cloves from pan, reserveing olive oil. Mash garlic into a paste.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup flour, beer, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 20 minutes or until foamy.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine beer mixture, mashed garlic, 1/2 cup reserved olive oil, 1/4 cup water, and remaining 5 3/4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place in dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let stand in a warm draft-free place (85°) for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Pour 3 tablespoons reserved oil into each of 2 (10-inch) cake pans. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon cornmeal.
  6. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Loosely shape each dough portion into a disk, and let stand for 15 minutes. Roll each portion to a 10-inch circle, and place in prepared pans. Pour remaining oil over dough. Using your fingertips, make indentations at 1-inch-intervals in dough. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°.
  8. Add desired toppings to dough (see Notes below), and make indentations again.
  9. Bake for 20 to 27 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  1. Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil: Top 1 portion of dough with 1⁄3 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and bake as directed.
  2. Cheddar and Green Olive: Top 1 portion of dough with 1/4 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives, 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, and 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, and bake as directed.
  3. Rosemary and Onion: Top 1 portion of dough with 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion or shallot, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese, and bake as directed.
  4. Seeded: Top 1 portion of dough with 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon each caraway, fennel, poppy, celery, and sesame seeds. Bake as directed.
Paula Deen Magazine