Cast Iron Easy Focaccia

Because fall is coming which means time for hearty soups and stews, a great accompaniment is this is very easy focaccia which is one of our favorite quick and easy recipes to make and should be a staple in every house. Because it is a single step to mix this dough and no kneading is involved it makes a great easy baked item to snack on by itself, dip in flavored olive oil or dredge in a soup or stew of choice.

focaccia dough in a mixing bowl

Makes 2 9 inch rounds

-3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
-3 1/4 cup warm water
-2 tablespoons kosher salt
-3 tablespoons sugar
-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
-1/4 pure olive oil (not XV)
-7 1/2 cups flour
-Kosher or Sea Salt for Sprinkling
-Pure Olive Oil for coating doughrisen focaccia dough in a mixing bowl

-Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixer with a dough hook on slow speed just until ingredients are well incorporated.
-Cover the mixing bowl with saran wrap and leave at room temperature for about two hours or until the mixture has more than doubled in size.
-Remove from the bowl and split into two and form into two round loaves, coat with olive oil, and place in 2 well seasoned 9 in cast iron pans.
-Let dough rise at room temperature for another ½ hour.
-Sprinkle with Kosher or Sea Salt and additional Rosemary if you would like a stronger flavored loaf.
-Preheat oven to 425 and bake loaves for about 20-25 minutes, loaves will sound hollow on the bottom when finished.
-Let cool on a baking rack or serve warm.

focaccia baked in cast iron pans

This recipe freezes well both in dough form and baked form.
The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before baking.
It can also be baked free form on a pizza stone or divided up into roll size for baking.
For a softer crust, brush the exterior with additional olive oil immediately after it comes out of the oven.

Because this recipe is so versatile, there is a lot of variations you can use with it.
Add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped garlic and brush with garlic-infused olive oil before baking.
Add 4 oz. fine chopped re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes
Substitute fresh sage, fresh thyme, or fresh tarragon for the rosemary, use slightly less fresh tarragon or the flavor will be overwhelming.
Chopped or chopped olives are a wonderful addition, we particularly like them roasted and the olive oil used for roasting the olives used to coat the dough before baking. 4 oz of chopped olives is recommended, more can be used but results in a heavier finished product.
Roasted garlic is also a great addition to the base dough but blend it well with olive oil and the warm water before adding the rest of the ingredients so the flavor is distributed equally. 1 tble is plenty to add for this recipe.
This makes great panko breadcrumbs, toasted croutons or even great for pizza crust!
For a bit of ethnic flair, adding 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 teaspoon curry adds a subtle lovely flavor to the dough.
Use your imagination and experiment!

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