Saturday, November 12, 2011

Focaccia Fantastica

I was hunting for a quick bread... and I should have read all of the directions BEFORE starting this one... it does require 1 hour to rise.  Which, seeing yeast in the ingredients, you'd think I would have realized it was too good to be true.  I finished mixing and kneading and I let it rise.  And it was the best dang bread I think I've made in a while.  There is advanced prep to roast garlic if you don't have any on hand.  You can also just use regular raw garlic, but I had some roasted cloves that are awesome in this.

3 cups unbleached white bread flour
8 tsp olive oil (1/4 c + 2 tsp)
1/2 TBS each dried basil, oregano, rosemary (crushed)
6 roasted garlic cloves
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 TBS warm water
1/2 tbs sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and set aside until it foams.

2. Mix the flour and salt, add the oil and mix as well as you can. Add and mix the dry herbs and garlic cloves.

You're not adding the salt until later by the way.

(above, that is one of the roasted garlic cloves! Yummers...)

3. Add the yeast and water and mix together.  Add more water as needed to make a flexible dough (I think it was about 1/2 cup or so).

4. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface, until smooth and elastic.

5. Give up after about 5 minutes...

6. Oil the dough lightly and put it in a lightly oiled bowl to rise.

Cover with a damp cloth and rise until doubled in size, (APPROXIMATELY 1 HOUR), in a warm spot like on top of the fridge or on the warm stove from having roasted the garlic.

7. Punch down and knead briefly.

 Roll out on a floured surface into a circle.

(Ok, that's not a circle, but it's what it looked like after taking it out of the bowl, post-punching.)

8. Transfer to a baking sheet with parchment paper or oiled or somehow prepared.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and schmear it around.  Sprinkle the salt on top and add more herbs if you'd like.

9. Cover and let rest about 15 minutes.  Heat the oven to 350F.

10. Bake about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and let it cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes before slicing.


YUM... Can't get enough!  It's good alone, with some margarine or as sandwich bread.  Oh yea, that's what I'm talking about! 

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