We are quickly heading into fall and what is a better accompaniment to soup or salad but homemade crackers or focaccia? Usually, we just pull something off the shelf at the store and figure, good enough, but if you are making your soup from scratch, you don’t want to just have any cracker or focaccia after the time you have put into making your homemade soup.
Yes, you are reading that right, 5-minutes from dough to oven! I couldn’t believe it when I tried this for the first time. Ok, it was sort of a desperation move, I was craving homemade focaccia but I just didn’t have the hours for two risings and all the fuss that day. I knew I had pizza dough from the store in the refrigerator. I figured how bad could it get, pizza dough and focaccia dough are pretty close so let’s give it a go!
Be sure to preheat your oven to 450 degrees and you will watch the focaccia as it bakes because everyone’s oven heats a little differently and the last thing you want is over-baked focaccia!
Store-bought pizza dough
Tastealotta Olive oil
Tastealotta Sea salt flakes
Italian herb blend or your choice of herbs; from rosemary to oregano, minced garlic to what your imagination dictates
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and make sure the oven rack is set in the middle position-see additional instructions above.
Take your dough out of the refrigerator at least 5-10 minutes prior to making your focaccia.
Dust your countertop with flour and place the pizza dough on the counter to rest for 5-10 minutes.
A 9×13 in a baking pan works well for this recipe or a cookie sheet the same size with at least 1-inch edges.
Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil in the bottom of the pan and swish it around until the bottom of the pan is well covered.
If you are using an Italian herb blend, which I like to blend into the pizza dough, this is the time to gently knead the herbs into the dough.
Take your pizza dough and stretch it width-wise and then lengthwise, using your hands or a rolling pin. You want the dough to be about the size of the pan when finished and don’t overwork the dough.
Once the dough is in the pan you will drizzle olive oil over the top of the pizza dough. I like to drizzle a little olive oil and then brush over the dough to distribute it well.
Use your knuckle to make indentations in the dough top.
Sprinkle the dough with your desired herbs and then dust with sea salt flakes.
Put your focaccia in the oven and watch it carefully, it should take between 15-20 minutes to have homemade focaccia.
Take the focaccia out of the oven and let cool in the pan.
I like to slice what we are going to use that meal and then put the leftover focaccia in a gallon plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator, it will keep for days. You can serve up your focaccia by reheating for 3-5 minutes by the slice in a 350-degree oven. This focaccia is also great for making sandwiches.
Olive Oil Crackers
If you have a craving for homemade crackers this is a great recipe to get started with, it’s nearly as easy as our 5-Minute Focaccia recipe above! Some simple ingredients and a few minutes and you have homemade Olive Oil Crackers to go with soup, salad, or to serve with cheese as a great appetizer.
This is an adaptation of a recipe for crackers taken out of the 1911 edition of The White House Cookbook. Yes, I actually have that cookbook and I need to be so careful turning the pages because they are brown with age and starting to crumble.
The White House Cookbook calls for a heaping pint of flour, we are substituting 2 3/4 cups flour and a little more to roll out the dough.
The White House Cookbook calls for a heaping teaspoon or a little more, they say to use your discretion, we are substituting 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
The White House Cookbook calls for 1 cup of milk and we are substituting 1 cup of water
In The White House Cookbook, they use melted butter, but we are substituting 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
You may add some herbs to your dough, but make sure that you aren’t adding more than a teaspoon or so because it will throw off the consistency.
2 teaspoon of sea salt
Use sea salt flakes for finishing the crackers
Be sure to preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a large bowl stir together the flour and baking powder. I like to use a pastry cutter to make sure the ingredient mix well.
Make a well in the middle and pour the water and olive oil in. Stir with a wooden spoon, creates less of a sticky mess than plastic or metal, until the ingredients are combined and can be formed into a nice ball.
Flour your countertop with flour and roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick, this is the same directions as the 1911 cookbook.
Place the dough on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and dust with sea salt flakes.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes, watching your oven carefully, you want the crackers to be a golden brown and I stress the golden, otherwise they will be overdone.
Remove the cookie tray from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
Remove the crackers from the cookie tray by lifting the parchment paper to the countertop and cut the crackers into pieces.
Store in an airtight container on your countertop or a double zip lock bag to retain freshness.
Enjoy your 5-Minute Focaccia or your homebaked Olive Oil Crackers with any of our wonderful Tastealotta soups. Be sure to share your recipe adaptations with us, we are here to cheer you on with using your imagination in your kitchen. Bon Appetit!