Olive-Basil Focaccia is our homemade bread recipe which is abundant in nutritional value. This healthy bread is made with heart-healthy Kalamata olives, along with extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves. For added flavor and deliciousness, top with parmesan cheese, if desired.
¾ cup warm water
1 (¼-oz.) package active dry yeast
½ teaspoon sea salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups whole-wheat flour
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons cornmeal
¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
¼ cup fresh, grated parmesan cheese (optional)
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In medium saucepan, heat water to temperature of 105-115°F (40-45°C). Add yeast and allow to dissolve and then stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Next gently transfer yeast mixture to large mixing bowl and add salt, all-purpose flour, and ½ cup whole-wheat flour. Mix until thoroughly combined and making a soft dough. Add the olive oil and basil. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes, adding flour as necessary to make a moderately stiff dough. Brush a bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl, turn dough to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1½ hours.
Punch down dough, let rest for 5 minutes. Next, oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough gently into pan; then with fingertips or thumb make dimples in the dough - evenly throughout surface. Brush with olive oil and arrange olives on top, pressing them into dough. Sprinkle with fresh, parmesan cheese - cover and let rise 15 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven at 425°F (220°C) for 15 to 20 minutes - until lightly brown. Cut into serving pieces. Delicious served warm or cooled.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
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