Focaccia Pull-Apart Bread

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yes yes, I know that focaccia bread is a dimpled Italian bread, but after seeing just how popular pull-apart breads were all over Pinterest, I just had to make a pull-apart version of focaccia bread. This recipe is different than an original focaccia bread - it has more dough, more flavour, and is just a fun appetizer to make! It is flavoured with olive oil and herbs and baked to perfection. I have a bread machine, so I allowed my machine to do the dough-making for me (easy!). But for those of you that don't have one, I wrote out the steps on how to make dough. Don't worry, it's still easy (am I contradicting myself then from the last sentence?). Enjoy it with your favourite warm dish or alone as an appetizer. I like to dip mine in some tomato sauce...yumm!

Focaccia Pull-Apart Bread
Prep time: 1.5 hours        Cook Time: 20-25 min           Yield: 1 loaf

- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt

- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tomato, cubed
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp chives
- 1 tsp rosemary

1. Add yeast to water. Stir until well combined. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until bubbly and foamy.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined (or until the dough keeps sticking to the spoon). Use your hands or a mixer with the dough paddle attachment to ensure all ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough a few times. Form into a ball. Place dough in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, covering the dough in oil to avoid the dry skin that tends to form on dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside, allowing the dough to rise to double it's size in a warm place. This process will take about an hour to an hour and a half.
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 10-inch round baking pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. I used a 10-inch springform pan. Roll the dough and shape into small balls (this recipe gave me about 13 balls). In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 4 tbsp olive oil with spices. Toss the dough balls individually in the mixture (if more oil is needed, add to the bowl along with a bit more of the spices). Arrange the balls in the pan. Sprinkle evenly with tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese.
5. Bake on the bottom rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature alongside chili or stew dishes, or as appetizers with tomato sauce as dipping sauce.

Topping Suggestions:
Black/green olives, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic.

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