Thursday, April 26, 2007

FOCCACIA BREAD

I baked a variation of this bread last Sunday. I did a double batch finished some for us and parbaked the rest. Lisa knows all about parbaking. Heaven knows we did enough of it at the Little Bakery in the Mall. ;-).

HERBED FOCACCIA

 

2 ½ to 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour plus additional for kneading

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons dry yeast

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

¾ salt preferably kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1 cup very warm water (110 to 120 degrees)

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

Vegetable oil spray

1 tablespoon yellow corn meal

 

Focaccia topping

1 teaspoon rosemary

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil.

 

Dissolve the yeast in a couple of tablespoons of the warm water and put aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Make well in the center and pour in the water, dissolved yeast and olive oil. Mix together with a wooden spoon or the dough hook of an electric mixer until a dough forms, about five minutes. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead by had for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

 

Coat a mixing bowl lightly with cooking oil, place the dough in the bowl, cover and set aside to rise until doubled. Punch down the dough and form into a rough rectangle. Lightly oil a 9x13 rectangular baking pan and sprinkle the bottom with the corn meal. Pat and stretch the dough until it fits the pan. Cover and put it aside until the dough is doubled.

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use your fingers to make light indentations in the dough. Brush the surface with about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake until the focaccia is golden brown and well risen, about 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the bread onto a rack to cool slightly and cut into squares. Can be frozen for up to a month. To reheat wrap in foil and bake at 350 for 5 minutes, unwrap and heat another 5 minutes to crisp)

 

Variations:

 

Substiture dried sage, marjoram, or basil for the rosemary

 

Knead in ¼ cup chopped black olives such as kalamata, gaeta, or nicoise into the dough.

 

Knead ¼ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes into the dough

 

Add two tablespoons grated parmesan cheese to the dough and sprinkle another two tablespoons on top before baking.

 

Add garlic to taste to the olive oil used for the dough and the topping.

 

Top with a half cup of thinly sliced sautéed in a little olive oil.

 

From The Family Health Cookbook put out by the AMA back in the nineties.

To parbake you prep the bread and bake it to the point where it just starts to brown. I baked some of the foccacia all the way with extra garlicy olive oil and parmesan cheese for us Sunday and froze the rest until tonight whenI finished the rest to take to work tomorrow.

And this is how they turned out. These were topped with fresh parmesan, rosemary and olive oil.

The house smells so good right now. You can have those flowery air fresheners, I'll take garlic anyday. So far it's going over very well. It's fun to take a recipe and figure out how to make it better or different.

2 comments:

toonguykc said...

SIGH....okay I guess I'll go eat another handfull of Planter's peanuts.

Russ

tenyearnap said...

Rosemary! I used to grow it and hang it over my bed to dry just so I could enjoy the smell as I drifted off to sleep. --Cin