Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hot Fresh Bread

I've never tackled making bread unless it can be added to my bread machine and I hit a button and my house fills with the aroma that when it's done no matter how hot it is I have the butter ready and I need a slice right away. I did make pretzels and I have done pizza dough so I guess those count, but I wanted a bread I could serve with a meal. I'm happy to report I finally made it over the weekend! I saw a easy Rosemary Focaccia that Prudy posted so I knew that would be a good bread to start with. It's almost like a pizza dough, but hey I'm taking baby steps!

Rosemary Focaccia
(Adapted from Prudence Pennywise)

2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (think baby bottle warm)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped, or 1 tablespoon fresh
3 cups flour (I use half whole wheat)For Top:
2-6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup to 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
additional chopped dried or fresh rosemary
black pepper

In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, pepper, salt, rosemary and half of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (Alternately, if you have a free standing mixer, put in all of the flour and let the machine do the work.)
Work in the remaining flour, using your hands and kneading when necessary. Knead dough for five minutes. Cover and let rise for one hour. (The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with saran wrap and store in fridge.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press dough into a 12 inch circle. Don't worry about being perfect; you're going for rustic Italian here. Press the dough all over with your fingertips to make indentations.
Cover dough with olive oil, cheese, rosemary and black pepper.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve. Any leftovers make a killer sandwich for the next day.
It came out a little flat in the middle and I think it's because I was heavy handed on the olive oil so it slumped down. Could be that or I got carried away with kneading it. I did make it again last night and boy did it come out perfect check this out:

So lesson learned boys and girls try try again practice makes perfect!

4 comments:

  1. YUM! That looks awesome!! I'll have to try it!

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  2. I don't make bread that often either, but your foccaia looks delicious!

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  3. Hot fresh bread is the best thing ever!

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