whole roasted garlic clove focaccia bread
i love making my own bread. there really isn’t any comparison between a fresh, out of the oven, loaf and store bought varieties. but bread can be tricky to get right - either it is too dense, the crust isn’t thick enough, or it comes out lopsided. focaccia is a simple bread to make that’s always soft on the inside with a crunchy crust.
adding italian herbs to focaccia is fairly normal, but i stepped it up a notch by adding whole cloves of roasted garlic to the bread, and lots of it. i used 3 heads of garlic in one batch, but you can use more or less according to your taste. keep in mind when you roast garlic the taste mellows out significantly to a savory and almost sweet caramelized flavor that isn’t pungent in the least. for most, this means you can eat a lot more of it.
roasted whole clove garlic focaccia bread
3 heads of garlic
1 c warm water
1 tbsp active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
1 tbsp olive oil + more to brush over
2 c unbleached flour + some for kneading
roast the garlic ahead of time. peel the head, chop the bottoms off each clove and remove the papery skin completely. loosely wrap all of the cloves in a piece of aluminum foil and cook at 400F for about an hour, until they are soft and starting to brown.
activate the yeast in a large bowl, with the water, sugar, salt and spices. let stand for about 10 minutes until it’s frothy.
then add the 1 tbsp of olive oil, all of the cloves of garlic and mix in the flour little by little, until it’s doughy enough that you can lift it out of the bowl with floured hands onto a floured surface.
knead gently on a floured surface for about a minute. dust more flour if it’s too sticky, but try to keep the dough as soft as possible.
lightly cover your hands and the inside of a large bowl with more olive oil. pick up the ball of dough and turn it over in the bowl so it is lightly coated in oil too.
cover with a lid, plastic wrap or a damp towel in a warm place for 20-30 minutes until it has at least doubled in size.
lightly coat your hands and a cookie sheet with olive oil and lift the dough out of the bowl. don’t worry about deflating it. gently knead the dough in your hands for a minute, then press across and into the corners of the cookie sheet. it should be somewhat even all the way across. randomly press down with your finger tips so the dough is evenly dimpled.
brush more olive oil across the top and let rise a second time in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
bake at 400F for 18 minutes until starting to toast golden brown on top.
slice up and enjoy!