Olive-Basil Focaccia

Whole, olive-basil focaccia bread garnished with basil, along with whole black olives and basil bunch in background.

Olive-Basil Focaccia adds a delicious flair to the heart healthy diet loaded with nutritious, fresh basil leaves and olives; topped with yummy parmesan cheese.

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Olive-Basil Focaccia - Recipe Ingredients:

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

2 tablespoons cornmeal

¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives

¼ cup fresh, grated parmesan cheese

Olive-Basil Focaccia - Recipe Instructions:

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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