Monday, September 1, 2008

Focaccia in 2 hours? No way, Yes way!!

I have been too busy playing outside to devote time to bread making. This Labor Day weekend was wet and cool and it put me in my winter baking mood. Well sort of.. I wanted something low maintenance that I could leave at a moments notice if the sun did decide to shine. It never did shine but it was warm and homey in my kitchen.

2 Hour Focaccia Bread
Adapted from King Arthur's Flour

1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil(plus additional for drizzling)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups A/P flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 heaping cup cheese of your choice
Fresh or dried herbs of your liking

For the cheese I used an 80/10/10 blend of Mozzarella, Provalone, and Mild Cheddar. The herbs used were a mix of fresh and dried herbs that I had handy (fresh rosemary, fresh cilantro, dried oregano, dried basil, fresh coarse cracked black pepper, and fresh thyme from my garden).

Preheat the oven to 425. The recipe calls for 375 but I prefer a hot oven.

Combine all ingredients, except for cheese and herbs into your mixer. Use a paddle attachment to combine on high speed for 60 seconds.

While the mixer is working, grease a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil. Don't be stingy. I used a smaller 7 x 11 glass pan. This is to be sandwich bread for my son's school lunch so I wanted it a bit thicker.

The dough should look like this.

Add the cheese to the mixer bowl and stir to mix in.

Scoop out the dough and spread evenly in pan. Wet your hands first!

Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. It is cool outside but not cool enough to turn up the heat. We built a fire in the wood stove last night and although the fire is out the stove is barely warm. The yeast likes this spot :)

Let sit for an hour or until doubled.

Drizzle with olive oil. Then wet fingers and poke the dough to leave the dimples.

Sprinkle with herb mix.

I added a few sprinkles of lavender garlic rub for fun.

Bake in oven for 35 -45 minutes at 425, until golden brown.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove carefully and place on a cooling rack. If you leave it in the pan your crust will be soggy.

I still prefer traditional focaccia. The crumb and chew isn't the same but the flavor is good. One certainly can't complain about how easy it is. Besides, my son likes this better because it is soft and a bit fluffy. It also holds up well for packed lunches and doesn't become soggy.

Hmm, I see an organic tomato and cucumber sandwich on 2 hour focaccia calling my name!


Rachel said...

That looks very appealing....

Bishop said...

I still knead a mixer. Get it?

I use store bought focaccia for all kinds of things. Especially bruschetta.

Yours is lovely.