Step-by-Step Guide to Making Focaccia with Kids
Focaccia (pronounced "fuh-KA-cha") is an Italian bread baked in a flat pan. Focaccia can be flavored with just olive oil or herbs and other items like tomatoes or olives. Enjoy focaccia as an appetizer, bread for a sandwich or snack.
Before planning to make the focaccia with your kids read through these steps. You will need to account for leaving some time for the dough to rise (twice). Don’t wait until an hour before you plan to eat to get started.
How to Involve Your Kid In the Cooking
Cooking with your kid is a chance to practice practical skills like reading, following directions, measuring, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the early concepts of math and science. My favorite part of cooking with my daughter is the growing appreciation she has for how food is made. While cooking with her, she is learning the importance of using fresh ingredients for better taste and health. Plus, she is filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride when she eats something she made!
Here is a list of some of the ways you can get kids involved.
Make a grocery list and have them check off items as you go throughout the store.
They can check off the supplies and ingredients needed before starting. If your child isn’t reading yet, read this list to them as you run your finger across the words, so they begin to understand that words have meaning. Reading off lists and getting organized is also an excellent executive functioning skill!
Read through and complete the steps together.
Let them choose the toppings they would like.
While waiting for the dough to rise, spend time together researching on the internet or a book, the science of what makes dough rise. Why does it have to be at a specific temperature and any other questions your kids may have.
Practice cutting the tomatoes with safe knives like these from Amazon. These are the knives my 5-year-old daughter use at home.
The most important thing is just to be present with your kid and have fun. Cooking together can make memories that last a lifetime!
I haven’t included amounts for the toppings as you can choose to put on as much as you like. I wouldn't recommend placing ALL of these ingredients on one bread. Mix and match to fit your families' taste. You can go simple with just rosemary, salt, and olive oil or add cheese to eat like a pizza. We used fresh rosemary, salt, cherry tomatoes & Castelvetrano olives on ours.
Cherry tomatoes halved
Castelvetrano olives pitted
2 ½ tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
6 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 ¼ cups flour
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
How to Make it
The temperature in the room should be between 68 to 75 degrees F for the dough to rise properly.
In the small mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water. Stir to dissolve then let it stand for about 5 minutes. Doing this helps the yeast dissolve and start to activate.
Add 3 tablespoons of the extra-virgin Olive oil to the water-yeast mix.
In a large mixing bowl add the 2 tablespoons salt to the flour.
With a spatula or wooden spoon, site the yeast-water mixture into the four, until it creates a soft dough.
Transfer the dough to a bowl that has been lightly spread with extra-virgin olive oil.
Cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm corner of the kitchen. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Spread extra-virgin olive oil lightly on a 12 x 16-inch baking pan.
Move the dough from the bowl into the pan.
The dough should be very light and soft. Avoid pressing or stretching it too much (you do NOT need to knead this dough). Flatten the dough with your fingers until it reached the edges, and the pan is fully covered.
Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap, and place the pan in a warm corner of the kitchen to rise for 1 more hour.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Dimple the focaccia with your fingertips to create small depressions.
Add the remaining olive oil and toppings you would like to the focaccia.
Bake the focaccia on the lower shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the surface is golden and the bottom is light brown.
Lift a corner of the focaccia to check readiness before removing from the oven.
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