Yay! School's out for the holidays! Are you familiar with that old joke: "why did you become a teacher?" answer "June, July, and August". Ha Ha. Though really, there is a spark of truth in it. Yes, I became a teacher for all the noble teachery reasons, but really... Christmas break, spring break and the summer, they are a nice bonus.
One of the benefits of being out of school, is being able to bake bread whenever I feel like it. My youngest is home from college for break, and this is her favorite bread, so it was first on my list. This is taken from one of my favorite bread machine cookbooks: The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger.
Focaccia (Roman Bread)
2 pound loaf
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast or
1 tablespoon SAF yeast
For the topping:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crushed (I used my new mortar and pestle)
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
To make the dough, place the ingredients in the the bread machine pan according to your machine's instructions. Process on the dough cycle.
Brush a large baking sheet with olive oil. When the dough cycle ends, turn the dough out onto the baking sheet. It will be kind of sticky. I like to turn it over a few times to coat it with the oil, and I also oil my hands. Start sort of stretching the dough out. This takes a little bit of time, because it's slippery and keeps snapping back into it's original shape. But after a little bit, it relaxes and starts to stay flattened. You want it about 1 inch thick. I usually shape it sort of rectangular like the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until it's doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
About 20 minutes before your ready to bake it, heat a baking stone (if you have one) in a 425 degree oven. If you don't have a baking stone, preheat the oven to 400.
At this point, the recipe says to slash the dough, but I usually just dimple it a bit with my finger tips, drizzle with the olive and sprinkle with the rosemary. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned. When it comes out of the oven sprinkle with sea salt.
This is so good! The olive oil makes it nice and crispy the outside, and the chopped onion makes it really moist on the inside. This is great just cut into squares (I could practically make a whole meal of it). I also like it used for sandwiches.