At the end of the day, if you’ve got your favorite drink in one hand, and a basket of hot salty Meyer lemon and rosemary focaccia bread by your side, you can count yourself among the very fortunate.
And since a good focaccia requires nothing more than flour, water, yeast, and about an hour of your time, it’s a luxury within everyone’s reach. I love focaccia. The combination of the dimpled bread, infused with olive oil and topped with salt and herbs is simple, but perfect. I always make sure to empty (repeatedly) the little basket that they bring to the table at our favorite Italian restaurant, just to keep it flowing :)
I’ve been making this particular recipe for years. It’s so easy it’s ridiculous. The process is not really bread-like at all since you stir up the yeast, water and flour with a wooden spoon, more like a batter. It rises just once, for 40 minutes, and then it’s ready for the oven. No kneading, no fussing.
Today I layered on paper thin slices of Meyer lemon, but you can use so many other things, like whole or sliced olives, artichokes, thinly sliced onion, whatever strikes your fancy. The important thing is to make sure that all those little dimples you make with your fingertips in the unbaked dough get filled with lots of fruity olive oil.
It’s also important to slice the lemons very thin or they will be unpleasant to bite into. Even sweet Meyer lemons benefit from a mandolin slicer, it does the job easily and beautifully, although even if your lemons don’t come out in perfect rounds, the bread will still have a lovely rustic look to it.
- 2 cups warm water (105-110F)
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp table salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- olive oil
- fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 Meyer lemons, sliced paper thin, seeds removed
- kosher or sea salt for sprinkling over the top
- Set oven to 425F
- Put the yeast in a large mixing bowl and pour in the warm water.
- Add the salt and 2 cups of the flour, mix into a soft and sticky dough.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix well. (The dough will still be a bit sticky)
- Cover and let rise for 40 minutes in a warm place.
- Press out the dough on a well oiled baking sheet. Using your fingers, ease it into a rectangle, approximately 9x13, give or take.
- Put the olive oil in a small bowl and dip your fingers into the oil, and then all over the bread, poking the bread surface and leaving little pools of oil. Do this all over the bread. Don't skimp; this will result in great flavor after the bread is baked.
- Arrange the lemon slices across the top, then scatter the rosemary leaves. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden.
- The rosemary will crisp up in the oven, so you may want to scatter some fresh leaves on top of the bread after baking to refresh the rosemary flavor and give it visual appeal.
Have a delicious Friday!