This focaccia is light and fluffy with a wonderfully flavoured top. The ingredients used in the focaccia dough are just common white bread ingredients, but it’s the method that makes the difference.
Let’s talk about commercial yeast for a minute. We’ve all been busy looking at sourdough for so long that I think some of us have forgotten about commercial yeast.
I don’t use a lot of commercial yeast, as I have a great sourdough starter and I believe that for me, it’s better for my tummy. I talk about that in my sourdough post “Why we love sourdough bread”. But if I need bread made quickly, I’ll use a commercial yeast! After all, that’s why it was invented. Under the right conditions, it gives us fast and consistent bread.
Sourdough is great for all sorts of reasons, with quite a few posts, and a few courses.
Instant Commercial Yeast
Ok so back to commercial yeast. That’s the dry stuff you can get at the supermarket. There are a few things to think about when making bread.
- Your yeast has to be within the use-by date.
- Your yeast has to be stored in a cool dry area.
- Once you open a pack of commercial yeast the use-by date reduces. (have you noticed it always comes in a foil pack, with larger packs being vacuum sealed?)
- Bread proving still takes time, so you need to be patient.
- Commercial yeast is faster than a sourdough starter and if you make bread under the same conditions using the same ingredients you can reproduce the same results every time with ease.
I mainly buy my commercial yeast in sachets because I only use it occasionally, it keeps better in the little sealed pouches. But if I’m running bread classes, or I know I’m going to make loads of bread over the next couple of weeks I’ll buy it in a larger container.
The first thing is, to keep your sachets in the pantry or fridge. Buy them when you need them, don’t stock up. Don’t open any packs then store them in a warm pantry or the freezer. I know you’ve read it all over the net and aunty Jean’s sister said it was the best place for it. But truly it’s not. We did tests at College with a few different classes and the jury says, the fridge is better than the freezer.
I’m sure we’ve all heard about freezer burn. Well, we noticed that the tiny grains around the outside of the container turned white and we guessed it was a freezer burn. But either way, we found that popping it in the freezer shortened the life of our instant dried yeast faster than when we put it in the fridge. I think this is one of those cases where the top answer on Google may not always be right.
Other variations for focaccia
You can go wild if you want to wow your guests (or just have some fun), check out this focaccia art.
5 stars tells us you love the recipebecs-table.com.au
- 1 Thermomix
- 2 tsp dried yeast check useby date *see tips in post above
- 380 grams water
- 1 tsp sugar or bakers malt
- 650 grams of bakers flour
- 2 tsp bread improver Optional – but helps make your bread super soft and fluffy
- 20 g olive oil I use light olive but use your favourite
- 2 tsp salt Flaked is best and a bit more for the top
- 1 stick rosemary Wash and remove the leaves
- 40 g olive oil (approx) This is the extra that is used after making the dough
- 1 clove garlic (optional) Fresh crushed is best
- Heat the water in the TM to 37°C. I use warm-up mode in my TM6. Set for 37°c/speed 2 and the TM tells me when it’s reached, temp. *See my notes380 grams water
- Add in the yeast (missing the blades) and leave it to rest with the lid on and MC in place for 5 mins. (don’t worry if it’s not foamy when you return, but if you have issues with commercial yeast, read the post above)2 tsp dried yeast
- Then add the remainder of the ingredients in the order they’re listed.1 tsp sugar, 650 grams of bakers flour, 2 tsp bread improver, 20 g olive oil, 2 tsp salt
- Mix in the TM bowl for 5 seconds/speed 5
- Scrape down, then set to knead for 3 minutes.
- When the TM is done kneading, remove the dough from the bowl, give it a quick stretch and fold (yes, it’s very sticky, *see my notes.) to give it a little surface tension, then set it in a bowl with a lid. I used my Thermoserver.
- Pop it in a warm spot and allow it to prove for around an hour (or until the lid cracks open).
Once proved, continue as follows
- Using a rectangular tray, liberally coat the base of it in olive oil. You can’t be scared of olive oil if you’re making focaccia.
- Tip the dough from the bowl onto the tray, then drizzle a little more olive oil over the surface of the dough (this will help prevent sticking). Using your fingers, stretch and dimple the dough’s surface. Don’t worry too much about pushing it into the corners because if you do that too much, you’ll end up pushing all the air out of your dough. We’re trying to keep all of those lovely bubbles.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over some rosemary leaves, some crushed garlic if you like, and some flaked salt. Please don’t be shy with the oil; I like to fill up most of the little dimples with it.
- As the focaccia bakes, the oil soaks into the bread giving the surface that texture we all love.
- Now you may need to allow your focaccia to puff up a bit more. I left mine in a warm spot for 10 – 15 mins before turning my oven on. I use a light baking mat to cover mine, but you could use cling film or something similar.
- After 10 -15 mins, I turned the oven on and allowed it to come to temperature of 180°C fans; *see tips.
- Allow the oven to reach temperature before placing your focaccia on the middle shelf of your oven and cook until a deep golden brown.