Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cracked Pepper Focaccia with Truffle Oil

This was my first attempt at making homemade bread and it could not have been easier. I like that I did not need to whip out the Kitchenaid and I didn't have to knead the dough either. I love truffle oil, so I drizzled some more over the top after the focaccia cooled. This bread was delicious with just some sliced tomatoes and definitely makes a turkey sandwich more exciting. My kitchen smells like rosemary and truffles...

Cracked Pepper Focaccia with Truffle Oil
*Recipe courtesy of
  • 2 cups lukewarm water (85°F to 95°F)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (for do-ahead version) or quick-rising dry yeast (for same-day version)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or black truffle oil or olive oil (If you don't like truffles, just sub olive oil.)
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper (Use less if you are not a spicy fan.)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 3/4 cups (about) bread flour

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Stir 2 cups lukewarm water and yeast in large bowl to blend. Mix in 3 tablespoons olive oil, truffle oil, cracked pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt. Add 1 cup flour. Using wood spoon, stir vigorously until well incorporated. Add enough of remaining 3 3/4 cups flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, to form dough that is soft, sticky and not completely smooth, stirring vigorously until well incorporated. Oil large bowl. Scrape dough into oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. For do-ahead version: Chill dough overnight. Allow dough to come to room temperature in warm draft-free area before proceeding. For same-day version: Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes (do not punch down dough).

Lightly oil 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. Slide out dough onto prepared baking sheet (dough will be soft and will easily slide out onto sheet; do not punch down dough or knead dough). Gently pull and stretch dough so that dough almost covers baking sheet. Press fingertips all over top of dough to form indentations. Brush top of focaccia with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, rosemary and coarse salt (picture below). Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until puffed, about 30 minutes for refrigerated dough and about 15 minutes for room-temperature dough.

Meanwhile, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F. Bake focaccia until deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. (Mine was done at 22 minutes.) Transfer to rack and cool.