Over a Cup of Coffee: Joe’s Homemade Focaccia

Diane Prather

This week Joe Belcher, owner of Gino’s Pizzeria in Craig, is sharing his recipe for “homemade focaccia” with readers. Focaccia is a bread that is used in the restaurant to make sandwiches, pepperoni sticks, and bread sticks. Joe is a certified culinarian who has been cooking for 15 years.

As you will be able to tell from the amount of ingredients, Joe’s recipe makes a lot of bread. He bakes it in a big, restaurant-size cookie sheet-like pan. So you will probably want to cut the recipe down to fit your needs. The bread is delicious. I have eaten sandwiches made with it.

Homemade Focaccia

10 pounds high-gluten flour

3 quarts water

1 cup oil

½ cup honey

3 ounces active, dry yeast

3 ounces salt

2 ounces sugar

Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add the honey, oil and sugar and mix. Then mix the yeast in 3 quarts of lukewarm water. Add the yeast to the flour mixture. Mix until combined—so that there are no dry spots of flour. “Proof” (let rise) in a 5-gallon bucket until the dough reaches the top. Take the dough out of the bucket and cut it in half. (Work half at a time.) Roll out the dough with flour, using a rolling pin. Spray a large (restaurant-size) cookie sheet. Then place the dough on it and wrap with a plastic wrap. Let rise to the desired proofness. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown all around.

Recipe courtesy of Joe Belcher

If you have questions about today’s recipe, call me at 970-824-8809, and I will check with Joe and get back to you. Thanks, Joe!

I have just enough space left in the column to share a tip for making a nutritious and delicious snack. To make peanut butter boats, cut an apple in half. Scoop out the core and seeds. Fill each apple half with peanut butter. Yummy! If you have a recipe that you would like to share, call me at 970-824-8809 or write to me at Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

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