I’m an absolute carb addict. Bread is just one of my vices in that category. And homemade bread…that’s at another level. Make it an easy homemade bread…then it’s elevated to a top vice! This focaccia fits the mold perfectly. In my opinion, this is the perfect “first-timers” bread to make. It has easy to follow instructions, and in my experience is “no-fail”. You don’t need a bread machine, it uses all purpose flour not bread flour, it has a really short rise time and from mixing to serving it only takes about an hour. How easy is that? One hour! Perfect 🙂 I prepare this in my enamel coated cast iron skillet [Le Creuset] that is 12 inches in diameter. A light coating of olive oil in the pan allows the cooked bread to simply slide right out. The focaccia has a wonderfully crunchy exterior and an oh so soft, chewy interior. It bakes up to between 1/2″ and 3/4″ thickness. It makes a wonderful appetizer or a perfect companion to a bowl of soup. The day I made my recent batch I called it lunch! I keep the dough recipe the same each time I make it, but I do change the “toppings”. I feel the possibilities are endless. You can use whatever seasoning blends you prefer. I’ve found dried herbs work better than fresh, unless the fresh herbs are added after baking. The last photo of this post is what Travis [son] and I “did” to the leftovers. We added a healthy sprinkling of shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and heated it under the broiler for a few minutes. Yum…the cheeses elevated this already delicious bread to a new level.Dough Ingredients: 3/4 cup warm water 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast 2 Tablespoon olive oil 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt Topping Ingredients: 3 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1 clove garlic, minced 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning salt and pepper Instructions ♦ Place water and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves. ♦ Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir few times. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. ♦ Turn the mixer on low speed and add 1 cup of flour and salt. Mix until combined. ♦ Add oil and mix well. ♦ Gradually add as much of the remaining cup of flour as you can [it may be only 3/4 of it] and continue mixing just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. ♦ In the meantime, preheat oven to 220°F. When the oven is pre-heated, turn it off and keep the door closed. ♦ Grease the skillet with olive oil. ♦ Place dough onto a floured surface [a Tablespoon or so] and fold the dough few times until you feel it’s smooth and not sticky anymore. Shape into a ball. ♦ Roll out the dough the size of your skillet. ♦ Place the dough in the skillet. Stretch up the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the pre-heated [off] oven for 20 minutes. ♦ Take the skillet out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Make random indentations in the dough with your fingers. ♦ Melt the butter in a small saute pan. Add the minced garlic, cooking until fragrant. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning; remove from the heat. ♦ Brush the dough with half of the butter and cheese mixture. Salt & pepper to taste. ♦ Place skillet with dough in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. ♦ Sprinkle top with crumbled bacon. Brush with remaining butter mixture. ♦ Slide focaccia onto a cutting board, slice in wedges or squares. Serve with marinara.