I’ve made bread a total of two times in my life. I always wanted to, but the time commitment seemed daunting. If I go out, what if I don’t get back in time to punch the dough down? Will it keep growing until it takes over my apartment? I think I read a story about that happening when I was a kid.
Another thing keeping me from making my own bread is what doctors would call “yeast anxiety”. Maybe the bread wont rise. I don’t want to be a bread failure.
I’m slowly getting over my bread disorders, and I’ve made this focaccia twice. The first time Bret was there to help if I needed it. He used to work in a bakery and he knows bread. But it turns out that the only help I needed from him was when it came to eating it.
Since I’m currently out of a job (until my new one starts up), I have all the time in the world to bake bread. So I decided to do it again, and take pictures!
The recipe I use came from Epicurious. It’s a good recipe. I haven’t yet made it with the olive topping, but I do love olives so I’m sure it will happen. I had some leftover rosemary from making the white bean dip for the New Year’s party. I love rosemary. It was begging to be part of my focaccia.
Rosemary Focaccia, or whatever kind of topping you choose
2 cups warm water
2 tsp. dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (and more for dusting your work surface and adding to the dough if needed)
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
chopped rosemary or whatever else you might want to throw on top
Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Mix it around with a fork and let it sit for about 10 minutes to dissolve.
Add 4 1/4 cups of flour and the salt to the water and yeast and stir until a sticky dough forms. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour to make the dough less sticky if you need to. Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover that with plastic wrap and let it sit somewhere warm for about 1 1/2 hours until it is doubled.
Once it’s doubled, punch the dough down (my favorite part!), knead it again on a floured surface and reshape into a ball. Place it back in the same bowl, cover and let sit until doubled again, about 45 minutes or so.
Punch the dough down again! Yeah!
Place it on an oiled baking sheet and press out to a rectangle shape, about 10×12 inches or so. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then drizzle the two tablespoons of oil on top and sprinkle with rosemary or whatever you have to sprinkle. I also added some coarse salt. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 25 minutes.
Make little indentations all over the bread with your fingers. I’m not sure exactly what this does other than make little puddles of olive oil deliciousness. But do it anyway. Cook in a preheated 475F oven for about 20 minutes until it’s brown and puffy.
Oh focaccia, you are so pretty.
I roasted a head of garlic for Bret and I to eat with it too!
And Bret got some tomatoes and basil. It was a carby meal, but so tasty.