A slice of focaccia. Pronounced foh-KAH-chee-ah, this Italian bread is shaped into a large square or rectangle that is liberally drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I also like mine topped with fresh rosemary, though other herbs would also be tasty, such as oregano or thyme.

There is nothing like a steaming bowl of soup, stew or chili to take the edge off a frigid day. I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on the crackers, preferring a piece of bread as a side to my winter warmer.

The perfect dunker? A slice of focaccia. Pronounced foh-KAH-chee-ah, this Italian bread is shaped into a large square or rectangle that is liberally drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I also like mine topped with fresh rosemary, though other herbs would also be tasty, such as oregano or thyme. 

Since focaccia is dense, it holds up well when dunked into broth or gravy. 

I use a recipe on the back of King Arthur’s 00 Italian-Style Flour. It is the company’s top-selling flour online, and it is what they describe as “our American clone of Italian 00 flour, perfect for a wide variety of tasty pizzas and Italian flatbreads.” (That’s pronounced “double zero” flour.)

Italian-style flour is lower in gluten and protein, which makes for a more supple dough, which is ideal for pizza crust, focaccia and bread sticks. A 3-pound bag is $6.95. However, if you don’t want to buy special flour online, the experts at King Arthur recommend their all-purpose flour instead, which is available at most supermarkets.

“It might be a little bit chewier, because all-purpose flour has a higher protein content,” the rep said. “But it should still be delicious.”

Focaccia

3 3⁄4 cups flour 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons instant yeast 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup and 2 to 4 tablespoons water

Toppings

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil Coarse salt 2 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together dough ingredients, and knead briefly, 5 to 6 minutes by hand or in a mixer, is all this dough needs. If you are using a bread machine, knead for about 8 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Remove it from the bowl and fold it over a few times to redistribute the growing yeast.

Place dough on a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet, and pat it into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary. Cover the focaccia with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.

Just before baking, use your fingers to gently dimple the top of dough, about every inch. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool slightly before cutting into squares. 

Makes about one dozen squares.