Sunday, 16 October 2011

Focaccia bread.

I have, once again, outdone myself.  In our harvest box this week we had three sprigs of rosemary.  I was thinking that we might make rosemary potatoes, but then we ended up making a soup that used up our potatoes, so it was back to the drawing board.  I decided to try my hand at making focaccia bread.

Here are the ingredients that I used:

  • three four inch sprigs of organic rosemary (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 a package active dry yeast (I was making a half batch because we couldn't eat a full batch by ourselves)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil from my jar of sundried tomatoes
I dissolved the sugar in the warm water, then poured it into a large bowl and added the yeast.  Once the yeast was frothing, I stirred in the olive oil, salt, 1/2 a tbsp of the rosemary and the Italian seasoning.  I mixed in one cup of flour, then added flour from the remaining 1/2 cup until the dough held together.  Then I turned it out onto the counter and kneaded the dough, adding flour until it reached the appropriate consistency and tackiness.

I washed out the bowl then sprayed the inside of the bowl with olive oil and put the dough in, spraying the top with oil again and covered it with a towel. When I am allowing my dough to rise, I usually put it in the oven after I've turned on the oven for a minute (and turned it off, of course) to warm it up just a little.  I also leave the light on in the oven.  I let the dough ball rise for an hour, until it had doubled, then took it out to punch it down.

I shaped the dough into a round loaf and placed it on parchment paper that had been sprayed with olive oil on a baking sheet.  I sprinkled the remaining 1/2 tbsp of rosemary over the top of the dough.  I covered the dough with a towel then again put it in the warm-ish oven with the light on for another hour, at which point it had again doubled in size.  After the hour was up, put it in the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Here's what it looked like going in:
When the bread came out it was nice and golden brown:
This bread was so light and fluffy and flavourful!  I ate mine with vinegar and some more of the olive oil from my jar of sundried tomatoes, while Tim opted for the balsamic vinegar with plain olive oil, and later used two pieces to make a steak sandwich!

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