I can’t believe my vacation is officially over. 13 days of pure bliss.
We packed in so much. Fort Myers Beach, Disney(!!), prezzies, family, old friends, new friends, cookies, passatelli, more cookies! Ahh. My heart is so full. And so is my stomach because I legit can’t stop eating cookies.
I also can’t believe our Florida trip has come and gone. We were seriously counting down the days for months and now we are home snuggled on the couch under piles of blankets wearing beanies again. Brr! And were expecting snow tonight?! tomorrow? I’m kind of excited though! Hibernation is fun. Hibernation is cookies, soups, focaccia..and leggings!!!
While in FL we spent an afternoon with my grandparents and my great grandma. We had wine while my nana made salad, goulash and ‘fagotz’. We called it that as kids because focaccia was too hard to say I suppose. I’m not sure I’m saying it right now? So maybe I’ll just stick with calling it fagotz but I should probably grow up soon and get it right. My grandma would make this bread every single night at dinner and we would actually fight for it as kids. It’s basically pizza dough with a lot of olive oil and salt. Simple but so freaking delicious.
I have failed focaccia so many times in the past, I gave up on it. It came out thin as a cracker every time. After eating about a half a loaf at my grandmothers though, I had to try it again. 2 days of focaccia for lunch and dinner (for real) and this recipe is solid AF. Pro tip: make the dough from scratch.
And don’t man-handle it! When stretching the dough, use your hands and get in there but over-working the dough will effect its rise. The rise is MAJOR KEY. If the dough didn’t double in size after the first rise especially, wait until it does! It may take more than an hour…but it’s totally worth the wait.
2 3/4 cups (330 grams) all purpose flour
1 cup warm water, 110-115 degrees
1 package of active dry yeast
1 tsp salt + more for topping
2 Tbsp good olive oil + more for rising and topping
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Add yeast to a cup of warm water and set aside for about 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved and fragrant. Combine flour, salt, yeast mixture, and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low until dough comes together and forms a ball, dough will be sticky and slightly shaggy. Knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and soft, about 10 times. Transfer dough to a medium sized bowl coated with olive oil, cover with a tea towel, and place in a warm place to rise for at least one hour or until doubled in size.
Coat the bottom of a sheet pan with olive oil, about 2 tablespoons, and turn dough out onto pan. Roll or pat out with fingers, stretching dough until it is the size of the pan. Using the tips of your fingers, create small craters or indents all over the dough. Cover with tea towel and set aside for a second rise, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush the top of the dough with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. Top with oregano and chopped olives and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes.
Some favorites from Fort Myers Beach: