Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Focaccia Bread

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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.

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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.

Description


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.


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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.

9 comments:

Peter M said...

Foccaccia, sounds like it means...bread porn!

I would have this straight out of the oven with extra virgin olive oil dizzled on top of it.

Kevin said...

The foccacia looks amazing! I like the idea of using onions on the inside.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pam, my rosemary is going well again and I think this would be the perfect way to use it!

katiez said...

I love herby bread...with olive oil.
I could easily make a meal of it...a glass of red, a hunk of cheese, a book of verse and though beside me singing... I think I might have messed that up - you get the idea: great bread!

Debbie Cook said...

Sounds great, but I have a dumb question. ;-)

Baking stone ... um, do you put the risen dough on the stone to bake? Or do you leave it on the baking sheet? If baking sheet, why heated up stone?

Pam said...

Debbie, good question! Usually, I bake my bread directly on the stone, but this one stays in the pan. I think it still gets a crisper crust from the stones heat coming up through the pan.

Debbie Cook said...

Pam,
Thanks for the quick answer. I made this today. It's very yummy! Pics and a plug for your blog are the latest entry on my blog.

I have a convection oven so the heat is pretty even throughout baking. I left my stone out today just to see. I think yours is more consistently brown so next time I'll try with the stone for comparison.

Jojo said...

I just stumbled on your site via Debbie Cook's sewing blog. When reading the title of your favorite breadmachine cookbook, I just had to run up to my library and check with my favorite book--wouldn't you know it? It's the same one! I haven't yet tried the Roman Bread but did make the Schiacciata (page 412) which I love as a dipping bread. I'll certainly try the Roman Bread next time.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Your focaccia looks fantastic! I'm so glad you left me a comment with this link. When my mom came to visit last Novemeber she brought me a copy of THE BREAD BIBLE by Beth Hensperger. Just last night I was flipping through it in search of focaccia recipes and found two. They both sounded good, and after your recommendation I know I need to give them a try. Thanks! : )