Focaccia Bread - surprisingly easy yet rich and aromatic EASY bread that's chewy, soft with slightly crisp exterior. A great alternative to the usual pizza dough. Serve it with soups and stews, snacks or as appetizers. Flavorful in every bite!
In a medium saucepan pan, combine olive oil, minced garlic, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, and black pepper. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add warm milk and sugar, stir to combine. Add yeast to the milk and stir. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast is foamy.
Add half of the flour, salt and a 1/3 cup of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture into the bowl of yeast and milk. Stir until the flour is moistened, then stir in the remaining flour and mix until the dough comes together for about 3-5 minutes. Transfer dough to a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times until smooth. Do not over knead dough.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and place in a warm area. Let it rise for about an hour or until it has nearly doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap, and transfer the dough to a large greased baking sheet. Use your fingers to poke very deep dimples all over the surface of the dough, then drizzle the rest of infused olive oil/garlic mixture over the top of the dough, and sprinkle evenly with the fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired.
Slice, and serve warm.