Hey everyone, it's Courtney with Savor Style! Today, I'm sharing my FAVORITE homemade bread recipe (admittedly, the ONLY bread recipe I've ever tried), from Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita Cookbook. Bottega Cafe has long been my #1 dining spot in Birmingham, and while the dining room remains closed, I'm so happy to be able to pick up my favorites curbside - or recreate them in my own kitchen! There is something so satisfying about the process (not to mention, the results!).
Of course, we can't serve our favorite focaccia without accompanying it with Bottega's signature olive oil (also available to purchase curbside!). Both the AA and A wavy bowls are perfect vessels for serving and dipping, and I just love how the bread nestles perfectly in the Allora bowl. I'd be happy to call this a meal on it's own, but if you want to take it up a notch, add Bottega's baked feta or antipasti.
Bottega Cafe Focaccia
1 1/4 cups warm water (105 - 115 degrees)
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 TBSP kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Put water in a small bowl, stir in honey, and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set the bowl to proof until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Combine the three cups flour, salt, 1/4 cup oil, and the yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large bowl with a sturdy hand mixer), and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic and set aside in a warm area to rest for a few minutes.
Spray a 12x16 inch baking pan (we actually used an 8x11 inch pan) with cooking spray or lightly grease. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, until it is just slightly sticky and firm to the touch. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm area for 30-45 minutes, until doubled.
Lightly sprinkle flour over the top of the dough, then transfer it to a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a 12x16 inch rectangle (we rolled ours to fit 8x11 inch pan). Fold the rolled dough in half, carefully transfer it to the baking pan, and unfold it, fitting it into the pan. Brush the surface with the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Place the pan in a warm area and let rise until doubled in volume, 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly dimple the dough all over with your fingertips. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through baking, until golden on top and cooked through: the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer the bread to a rack to cool before serving.
Courtney Wright (@savor_style) combines her love of food and entertaining by creating custom grazing boards and styled spreads for a variety of events. At the heart of Savor Style is her desire to encourage people to gather and connect, and the belief that no occasion is too small to celebrate. Courtney is also mom to 2-year-old triplets (@southernsoiree), who constantly remind her what it means to savor each moment in the midst of chaos.