Focaccia bread makes for a hot, crunchy vegan snack - The State Hornet: Food

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Focaccia bread makes for a hot, crunchy vegan snack

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:21 pm, Wed Feb 27, 2013.

“Focaccia” rolls off the tongue when said out loud and is just as easy to bake as it is to say.

This simplicity may be why the bread has survived history for so long. According to foodtimeline.org, it is an early prototype of modern pizza and thought to have originated from the Etruscans or Ancient Greeks. Focaccia originally was cooked on the hearth of a hot fire, making it a flatbread. By the middle ages, the bread had even become a luxury item in France.

Now the bread has various ways to be prepared and thankfully it does not require a hearth of a hot fire, but only an oven and some basic ingredients. Focaccia bread is a popular Italian dish which can be served as an appetizer and can be used for sandwiches or pizza crusts. The bread’s flavor is enhanced by seasonings or herbs and glazed with olive oil.

After some thorough online searching, I found this recipe not only the quickest, but inexpensive and tasty to make as well.

Unlike many bread recipes, this recipe uses baking powder instead of yeast, which speeds up the preparation process, but does not take away from the bread’s signature crunch. I have made focaccia bread with yeast instead of baking powder before, but prefer the less-grainy taste the baking powder gives.

People may not expect focaccia bread to be vegan, but several recipes do not use any animal-derived products. This makes the dish a great appetizer or snack for vegans, but, using rice, almond or gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat flour would allow celiacs to enjoy it as well. It’s a refreshing alternative to chips or crackers at a party. Friends are likely to relish in this salty and garlicky snack, praising you for your toasted creation as if you were a Greek God. If not, they’ll probably be licking their oily fingers and reaching for seconds, regardless.

This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com.

Focaccia Bread

1 cup water

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Line baking sheet with wax paper and then spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

In large bowl, add water, flour and baking powder; mix until combined. Once the dough starts to form, set dough aside.

Sprinkle flour on hard surface or cutting board and then remove dough from bowl to prepare for kneading. Knead dough for about five minutes, with the little pieces of dough collecting together in circular shape. It should have a slightly sticky consistency.

Place dough on the oiled wax paper in the pan and spread out dough with hands.

To acquire the bread’s texture, which is essential to the final product’s crunchiness, you must dimple the dough. Dimple across dough by pressing fingertips into the dough, creating several pockets. Dimpling is how focaccia and some other Italian breads, like Margherita bread, achieve their crust while maintaining a lightweight nature.

Liberally drizzle olive oil over dough and sprinkle salt and garlic salt all over dough.

Bake until the bread is golden brown, roughly taking about 10 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping or savor the seasoned bread as is.

Hope Roberts can be reached at har49@csus.edu

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