Thursday, March 15, 2012

Focaccia Bread

I LOVE bread. I rather give up almost anything then bread. Though I have done the no carb thing for a few weeks in college and I have given it up for lent one year and was successful. I just love it. And I don't mean wonder bread or really any packaged sliced bread in the food store. I mean fresh just baked bread. Trader Joe's has some good bread- Multi Grain sourdough from there is one of my favorites. Panera also makes some lovely bread including their focaccia.  So when I came across this Noble Pig recipe I knew I had to try it. I've made it a bunch of times in the last few years. Following the recipe each time but everything comes out a little different. Sometimes it's REALLY good and other times it comes out just okay. 

1 & 3/4 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
5 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 Tablespoon kosher salt, plus sea salt for sprinkling
1 cup olive oil, divided into two

Combine the warm water (not boiling) with the yeast packet. Then an the tablespoon of sugar. Put in a dark warm place - I usually do a cabinet or the pantry. Wait for about 15 to 20 minutes until yeast is bubbly and aromatic. 

Now this is the part I wish I had a Kitchen aid mixer (in pink, teal, yellow, purple) that I could put the dough hook on and let it do its magic but I don't. So in a bowl combine the flour, salt, 1/2 of the olive oil, and yeast mixture. I usually start with a wooden spoon and then start using my hands when the liquid is soaked up. 

Feel free to add a little flour if sticking to your hands to much. After a few minutes of mixing put flour onto counter/cutting board and transfer dough. Continue to kneed it a couple of times. 

Coat inside of the bowl with olive oil and return dough to bowl. Cover with some plastic wrap and put in a warm dry place for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. After it has risen take out a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) and pour the 2nd half of the olive oil on it. Put the dough into the pan and spread and press it until it fills the pan. Turn the dough over so both sides are coated. Continue to spread until it covers the whole pan. After it's the right side take your fingers and make holes through out the whole thing. Not little holes but holes that go through the whole dough to the bottom. At first I though this i was odd but don't worry your bread wont have holes once it bakes. 

Put the dough back into a warm place and let rise for the 2nd time for an hour or so. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. After the dough rises feel free to add any sort of topping. This time I split it in half. I sprinkled sea salt over the whole thing. Then on one side I added just rosemary which is my usual topping. The other side I decided to do something different and I used some caramelized onions I had left over. Both sides were delicious. 

(close up of caramelized onion side)


1 comment:

  1. OOoh, that looks yummy! I'm going to give that a shot ;)


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