To make it, you only need five basic ingredients from the pantry: flour, salt, sugar, yeast, olive oil (and a pinch of patience). I admit: despite having a culinary education, baking bread is something I don’t do regularly; it tends to feel like a cumbersome task that requires way too much planning and anticipation. (And those close to me know that patience isn’t exactly my virtue – I’d rather whip up a tasty meal à la minute.)
That said, my sheer obsession with bread made it tempting enough to try this recipe, and boy, was it worth it. This focaccia bread recipe takes no more than two hours to make and is absolutely Delicious. Shall I make it again? Clear and simple: YES.
How to make a mini loaf pan of focaccia with just five basic pantry ingredients
Making a freshly baked loaf is undoubtedly rewarding, but the idea of having to do this – and waiting several hours between risings – is usually enough to kill the fun… until now. The beauty of this focaccia recipe in a mini loaf pan (you can find the full recipe on The Practical Kitchen’s website) is that it doesn’t take long to make. It took me no more than a little over two hours, and the majority of it was hands-off. The key is that you work in small batches (hence the mini), which makes the whole process much faster.
The first step is to weigh your ingredients. Pro Tip: Use a food scale to make your measurements as accurate as possible and save yourself cleaning extra dirty utensils. In a small bowl placed on a scale, I measured 120 grams of all-purpose flour, five grams of salt, and five grams of sugar (using the tare function in between so as not to have to do any kind of math). I quickly stirred the dry ingredients and formed a small well in the center. Then I added 90 grams of lukewarm water and three grams of dry active (instant) yeast and let it bloom (aka activate the yeast) for about a minute. And finally I added 10 grams of olive oil on top.
Then the fun part: mixing the dough. Using a spoon, I gently combined the ingredients until it formed a rough ball of dough (it was quite sticky). At that point I switched to using a bowl scraper to collect any leftover bits from the sides until it formed a more uniform and lump-free ball. I covered it with a clean tea towel and let it rise for 15 minutes.
After waiting, I performed a version of the classic baking technique: slap-and-fold. I moistened my hand with water and scooped the dough into my palm, then slammed it into the bowl and folded it away from my body, repeating the process about six times to help strengthen the gluten in the dough. Then I covered it with a towel and let it rest for another 15 minutes. (And repeated this step one more time.) But after the second time, instead of re-covering the dough, I transferred it to a mini loaf pan that I had previously greased with a generous amount of olive oil (about a tablespoon or two ).
I formed the dough in the pan with greased fingers and pressed it against the edges, although it would pull back when I let it go (which is normal). After this I let it sit (covered) for an hour and waited until it had about doubled in size, which allowed it to expand further into the edges. When I was done, I drizzled more olive oil on top and made dimples in the surface with my fingertips, pushing the edges to fill the corners as best I could. I then added a pinch of Italian seasoning and flaky sea salt for mouth-watering flavor before baking it at 400°F for about 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, I noticed that the underside was browning much faster than the top, even though it was cooked all the way through. To prevent it from burning on the bottom, I turned the oven to the broiler setting and watching closely, cooked the bread a few minutes longer until the top turned golden brown. When done I took it out of the pan and let it cool for about 15 minutes before eating it.
Why I’m officially obsessed with this mini loaf pan focaccia recipe
The TL; DR? This focaccia recipe is virtually foolproof and ideal for bakers of any experience level. It’s more than simple to make and calls for ingredients you probably already have on hand. Plus, the portion size is perfect for a quick snack.
Also important: the best thing about eating bread is when it’s hot, steamy and fresh from the oven, right? The focaccia recipes I’ve made in the past yield large quantities, such as a half-plate pan and larger. This means that by the time I get to eat the last bits, it will probably have lost its freshly baked quality and may even be getting old. However, a mini loaf of this size guarantees that it will be gone before you know it.
Find the full recipe on The Practical Kitchen’s website.
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