A few months ago Eric and I went out for dessert at Magleby’s, a local restaurant famous for its breadsticks. They are quite delicious, but it’s a stretch of the imagination to even call them breadsticks; ovals of Italian-y dough fried in a vat of oil and smothered with parmesan is more like it. Not that I’m complaining.

They give you a complimentary breadstick upon your arrival, so Eric and I each had one, even though we were just there for dessert. Apparently that wasn’t enough for him though. There was a couple sitting at the booth across from us. We saw the waiter bring out their breadsticks. We saw that the woman did not even touch her plate. We saw them pay for their meal. We saw them walk out the door. Can you see what’s coming?

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Oh yes he did. (No, it wasn’t me, I have at least some boundaries.) But I will admit to being the accomplice; I acted as eagle-eye look out. (For waiters, of course, who might kick us out of the restaurant if they caught us stealing food from other people’s tables.) Sometimes you think your husband is just so mature, and then you realize that he is still a 15-year-old food-napper at heart.

That story still doesn’t beat my sister’s though. One time in high school she was at a diner with some friends. (Including some boisterous teenage boys, I might add.) The people at the table next to them had their food brought out, but before they even touched it, they left the restaurant. My sister and her friends couldn’t believe it. How could you just leave all that food without eating any of it? So naturally they started picking at the fries. It was really awkward when they discovered that the people had only left for a smoke break.

This Focaccia bread is simply outstanding and outstandingly simple. It takes less than 45 minutes start to finish, which, for a yeast bread, is quite an accomplishment. It goes well with any Italian-type meal. Or pretty much anything, really. I like to split the bread in half and use it for gourmet sandwiches. Enjoy!

Focaccia Bread

Source: adapted from Allrecipes.com

2  and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and milk.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 11-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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  1. I made this recipe this evening and must say it is very, very good. I was some what fearful with the quantity of herbs required, but they complimented each other without one herb over powering the other. I Will follow this recipe again but, next time doing only fresh rosemary and garlic along with the cheeses.

  2. Thanks for the delicious, quick and easy bread recipe! I made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. It’s the perfect  bread recipe for me because I don’t have to plan so far ahead, which is great because it always seems like the day gets away from me.

  3. do you think I would be able to do this on the dough cycle on my bread maker? I don’t have a kitchen aid yet, and HATE kneading by hand…..

    1. Hey Mindy! I’ve never had a bread maker so I don’t really know how they work. But if it’s basically a machine that does the kneading for you, then I say go for it!

  4. This looks so good! I have never made a focaccia bread before – could you tell me about how big the rectangle of dough should be after you pat it down to 1/2″ thick on the baking sheet? Thanks!

    1. Hmmm. I’ve never measured or anything but I would just spread it out to the size of whatever pan you are using. I usually do it on a 11×17 pan I think. It should work just fine! Enjoy! I love this bread!

  5. I just made this tonight. Note to self: ALWAYS double the recipe because it’s freaking delicious. And because it’s so fast and easy, I’m seriously considering making these tomorrow for the Blue and Gold banquet. But I don’t know if I want a dozen cub scouts fighting over them. But if I do make them I’d get to eat them again. Decisions, decisions.

    1. Life is tough, right? I say make a double batch and hoard it for yourself. In your bathroom cupboard, if necessary. Glad you liked it! Can’t beat hot bread that’s this fast.

  6. This bread is a life saver. I have made it many times since reading this but I forgot how it is SO FAST. Dinner needs to be ready in half an hour (which I totally forgot about until JUST NOW)? No problem! Grilled veggie sandwiches coming right up! Awesome.

  7. This looks so delicious! You are so not helping me with my goal of dropping two dress sizes this year.

    1. I’m convinced that the more you eat this bread, the more you start to look like an Italian. So forget about the dress size and focus on looking exotic.

  8. i would be so tempted to do the same thing, but i’d be so afraid i’d get caught! and by ‘caught’ i mean if anyone at all saw me do it… this looks like a fairly approachable yeast bread – did you knead by hand or with the kitchen aide?

  9. I loved both those stories! So funny! I will make this one day, perhaps when Rach or Amy are visiting some time…so we can all enjoy it’s certain deliciousness! :)

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