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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

FOCACCIA BREAD

I fixed lasagna Saturday night using my homemade ricotta cheese. I wanted a step above basic garlic toast to go with it.  The teen and I decided to make Focaccia bread from scratch.  He really enjoys Focaccia when we get it at Central Market or in a restaurant.  Focaccia is an ages-old flat bread very common in Italy (according the great sage of shared knowledge, Wikipedia).  Read more via the link above if you are interested in knowing more about Focaccia.  We just basically think it is a kin to pizza... but it's not pizza :-)

So the first thing I knew we needed to do was make a pizza dough from scratch...which we have done many times.  I use the one from Everyday Food magazine.  It's easy and fast.


BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
from MarthaStewart.com

Ingredients:
  • 2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface

Directions:

    
    the sticky dough ready to rise
Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
    
    Beautifully risen at about 45 minutes
  1. Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until a sticky dough forms.
Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using. (this was more than doubled in under an hour...the teen kneaded it several times to get it just right - he is an experienced pizza dough maker)

A very easy pizza dough.  Makes about 2 pounds.  I will just be using half for tonight and will freeze the other half because I'll bet you anything the teen will want to make homemade pizza for HIS Friday night dinner (Friday is almost always pizza night around here).
So, onward to the Focaccia...with a nicely risen, punched down, kneaded batch of pizza dough.
This recipe is a conglomerate of several I found online.
FOCACCIA WITH HERBS AND CHEESE

Ingredients:

1/2 recipe of Basic Pizza Dough
Olive oil and pastry brush
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 big pinches of grated Asiago Cheese
5 big pinches of grated Romano Cheese
Method: 
Dust your pizza sheet with cornmeal. Place your dough in the center and press and stretch outwards, ending with a circle 1/2 inch thick. (the teen got it a little thin - like he usually does pizza  - but we were easily able to redirect the dough into the center for an even 1/2" all around)
Take your fingertips and dimple the Focaccio dough.

Dimpled, oiled and ready to top
Brush the Focaccia dough with Olive Oil.
Sprinkle the top of the Focaccia Bread liberally with fresh and dried herbs (we mixed the dried ones all together in a ramekin and ground them with a pestle to make a nice spice blend and crush the red pepper flakes).  The combination of herbs is your choice. Season to your family's taste.
Sprinkle the cheese lighly across the dough.
Let rest 15-20 minutes (you'll see it start to rise slightly again) and place in your 450 degree preheated oven.
Bake until golden brown approximately 15-20 minutes. (16 minutes for us)
In the oven and ready to go!

I must say, the teen did most of the work and I just was the over-seer over-lord sous chef and answerer of questions.  I made sure I was busy working on the lasagna while he did the work on the Focaccia. He didn't want me butting in! This was HIS baby and he did a really excellent job.   Not only did it look good...it was outstandingly delicious!  Good man-skill for the boy to have :-)
It was ta da in appearance AND in taste!
BON APPETIT, Y'ALL!!!
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1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy and perfectly cook,i love herbs on pizza,i'm joint your blog now :)
    Ridwan

    ReplyDelete

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