Sunday, February 7, 2010

focaccia bread (recipe and photos of process)

the Focaccia Bread (originally a recipe for challah bread)

4 cups warm water
3 TBSP yeast
1 TBSP sugar

Mix and cover, let it do its thing. Mine rises and bubbles. :) It's like... alive. hahahaha
It should only take 10-15 minutes, and by then it'll be a nice height.

Now, I make my bread in a Bosch, go Google a picture of it if you (unfortunately for you) have no idea what it looks like. It's such a wonderful little hefty multi-purpose thingamajig. :)

So... mix in:
5 eggs
1 cup oil (i use extra virgin olive oil)
1 TBSP salt
16-20 cups flour . . . i.e. 5 lbs

Mix, mix, mix until it looks like a good dough. Not too wet and sticky, and definitely keep away from making it too dry and floury.

Mix it all in mixer --add flour until edges of mixer come clean-- it will be different based on your flour. Go with the feel of the flour, not the recipe. (hey, i'm just quoting the original recipe here!)

Knead for 7 minutes in mixer (i never have ever listened to that part of the instructions. haha. oops.) then remove kneading paddle. Cover the bowl with a towel.

Let it rise.

(i usually let mine rise for about an hour. sometimes a bit more, but then it starts to overflow the bowl, so an hour does for me. it all depends on how warm it is in your house, letting the yeast do its business and expanding, blah-di-blah-di-blah...)

After it has doubled in size at least once...
Preheat the oven to 400.

Scrub your counter, and oil it up with whatever kind you want to use. Again, here I use extra virgin olive oil. Then, dump it out onto your lovely counter, and knead a little with your hands.

Roll it out on your counter, a nice, long, stretched-out rectangle. Then, on one half of it, sprinkle (or, like me, mound it on) on some cheese; I have used parmesan, asiago, romano, cheddar. Any kind will do, except for maybe those weird, expensive French kinds. (hahaha, i'm just picking on them for no reason)
Then, on that same side, perhaps some olives, Italian sausage, mushrooms...
or anything that you put on your pizza in the first place. Heck, you're invited to put some sliced and diced onions in there. I've never done it, never will because I . . . just don't like onions all that much.

:) In the summer, I like some fresh rosemary and/or oregano.

So, now that it's all decorated, fold the naked side over it, and stretch where you need to so you can pinch the edges closed.

Then, pick it up (be brave!) and place it on a greased cookie sheet, or in a greased pan, a size that'll fit your flat bread nicely.

Slide that pan/cookie sheet into the oven, and, starting on one of the lower racks so the bottom gets some good crisping time, and putting it up on a middle rack after a while. . .

Bake until it's golden.

Take it out, and warm up some pasta sauce if you don't want it cold, and, haha, if you most-of-the-time buy pasta sauce and aren't sooooo brilliant as to make it like maybe some people on this planet do. ;)

So, our family eats it cut in wedges or some shape easy to handle, and dip it in the sauce. :) Makes for a lovely evening, such a filling dinner.

Have a good night, people. Hope you enjoy trying this thing out! It always works for me, so ya'll need to report back here. ;)

1 comment:

LeAnna said...

Oh my, this looks divine! Thanks for sharing the recipes!