I’ve been playing with Focaccia bread recipes and have gone down many rabbit holes to come to this conclusion – I’m not going to heat the olive oil that is synonymous to Focaccia Bread.
Although there is a ton of info on the net saying that it is ok to heat olive oil, I’m leery about doing that. Most focaccia recipes bake at 400-425F – which eliminates many of the benefits of a good olive oil. Having said that, olive oil is the safest of ‘vegetable’ oils to use when it is fresh, cold pressed, extra virgin. But it’s very difficult to determine the quality of the oil, never mind that other lower grade oils are often added. Plus it’s more likely to contribute to weight gain. Bring on the butter (or coconut oil or tallow or lard…)!!
The fat is easy to switch out in Focaccia so I’m using butter and coconut oil. These are saturated fats and are very stable – they don’t break down even when heated to high temperatures (again the quality and source matters). Plus saturated fats are used by our muscles for the purpose of providing energy so are less likely to cause weight gain!J
Of course we all know by now that using refined vegetable oils are out of the question so I’m not even going to mention them.
Many of my clients stay away from bread after completing our weight loss/detox protocol. Often it is possible to ‘have your bread and eat it too’ on occasion if ingredients are chosen wisely.
A note on flour – there are a couple of options that are better than regular flour. Choose organic so that there is less concern of chemicals. Unless you are willing to soak and/or sprout the grain or sour your dough (which would be VERY awesome!) white, unbleached flour is an okay way to go. The bran has been removed which is where the phytates (anti-nutrient) are contained. The enzyme inhibitors haven’t been neutralized but healthy gut flora can greatly assist digestion – great reason to eat your probiotic foods!
This recipe is adapted from the Thermomix ‘The Basic Cook Book’ and is on the recipe chip (note that this is a half portion). Man, the Thermomix makes bread making a snap – and it turns out every time!
Focaccia Bread page 222
30 G parmesan or any dry cheese (optional) (Grana Padano works great too)
300 G unbleached organic flour
10 G extra virgin coconut oil
1 t fast acting yeast
1 t sugar
½ t salt
190 G warmed water (purified of course)
1-2 T each fresh parsley, sage, rosemary (dried herbs can also be used)
30-40 G melted butter
Course unrefined sea salt
Olives, tomatoes, more cheese (all optional)
Follow the instructions on the chip with these variations:
- If using fresh herbs chop them first while the bowl is clean and dry. Drop them from your fist onto the spinning blades speed 8 (they can be added while the dough is mixing or on top). Set aside.
- Weigh the cheese into mixing bowl (if using) and grate 10 sec/speed 10.
- Add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, coconut oil and water and knead 3 min (as the chip says).
- Drop directly onto a pan lined with parchment paper and shape into the size of circle or square you desire. Cover with the Easy Mat or cling wrap and proof in a warm place for ½ hour (takes less time when warm water and quick yeast are used).
- Push holes into the dough with oiled fingers or use a Docker to poke holes (I don’t have a Docker so I used chop sticks). The goal is to create holes for the butter — do not to punch down the dough.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Weigh in the butter and melt 2 min/50C/speed 1. (this is instead of the chopping onions stage on the chip instructions)
- Drizzle the melted butter over top letting it seep into the holes.
- Sprinkle with course sea salt. Add olives and cherry tomatoes cut in half or garnish with anything you like. Works great as a pizza!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.