Over the weekend I got to cross two items off of my culinary bucket list...1. Make homemade focaccia.
2. Bake in a cast iron skillet.
Honestly, I hadn't tried either one before out of a fear of what I did not know. Up until about a year ago, I had never really baked with yeast. I don't care how amazing a recipe looked, if yeast was listed as an ingredient I was immediately turned off by it.
Because I was super intimidated by anything that involved using yeast, and rise times, and such. Most of the time any recipe that I tried that required yeast almost always failed for me. Almost a year ago, I shared my recipe for French Vanilla Chai Cinnamon Rolls on the blog- it was my very first self-developed recipe using yeast that was a hit out of the park success. Ever since then I have been hooked on baking with yeast.
And recently I discovered Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Yeast and found myself even more hooked on developing baking recipes using yeast...
Armed with the Beginner's Focaccia recipe from Fleischmann's Breadword website, I set out to bake my very first homemade focaccia bread. Seriously, you all. This recipe is so simple to make! I even employed my almost 3 year old daughter to help whisk together the dry ingredients for this. :)
I decided to give my version of their homemade focaccia a little flavor kick with the addition of fresh basil and garlic and shredded mozzarella. The perfect combination of Italian flavors in my book...
The rising process for this focaccia was so amazingly simple and quick. Just 45 minutes total of rise time before this Italian goodness was ready to hit the oven...Basil, Garlic, & Mozzarella Focaccia
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Ingredients (12 inch cast iron skillet)
- 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- large bunch of fresh basil leaves (about 10-12), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
Combine flour, dry yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir until blended. Combine water and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 2-cup glass measuring cup OR microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F). Add to flour mixture. Stir with a spoon until well mixed.
Fold in the fresh basil, garlic, and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella into the dough.
Spread into a seasoned 12 inch cast iron skillet. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Using your lightly oiled finger (or oil the end of a wooden spoon), gently poke holes about every inch in the dough going nearly to the bottom of the dough. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; evenly sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella. Let rise, uncovered, an additional 15 minutes while oven preheats to 375°F.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. Cut and serve with extra oil or your favorite pizza/marinara sauce for dipping if you'd like.Enjoy!
**Recipe inspired by the Beginner Focaccia Recipe on Fleischmann's Breadworld site.
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For my first time baking focaccia and my first time baking in cast iron, I have to say that I was impressed with how amazing this bread turned out. Soft on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside, and bursting with fresh flavors.
I have to ask myself again why I was ever intimidated of baking with yeast or of trying my hand at baking homemade focaccia.
Of course, I have to give some of the credit to my new found love for Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast. It has become the new go-to yeast in my kitchen, and pretty much the only one I will now use in my baking.
Are you or have you been intimidated of baking with yeast before?
The Fleischmann's Yeast website is an amazing resource for tips and tricks to help you get started and to ensure that your baking turns out great!
If you loved this recipe, you might also like my...
There’s a sense of pride in sharing something you’ve baked from scratch. With Fleischmann’s Yeast, you won’t be afraid to find your creativity in the kitchen or even get your apron a little dirty. Baking with yeast this holiday season can be as easy as pre-heating the oven. To find out more, visit foodnetwork.com/holidaybaking.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ACH. The opinions and text are all mine.