Tuesday, November 11, 2014


     I don't think I'd be able to live with a gluten intolerance. I like bread way too much. I don't have the willpower to resist it. I'd eat a loaf of garlic bread and then sit in the bathroom for an hour screaming and cursing my existence. Then I'd go eat a stack of waffles. Circle of life and all that. Anyway, I've been meaning to try my hand at focaccia for some time and finally found a nice recipe hiding in one of my Frugal Gourmet cookbooks. This particular recipe takes about three hours from start to finish, so make sure you've set aside enough time for this. It's not particularly labor intensive, it just has a lot of rising time. It's totally worth it, as it makes a bread with a lightly crisp crust and a soft middle. It's very flavorful and seems like you could do all sorts of wonderful things with toppings. I'm calling it a winner. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

via The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines

  • 2 packets quick-rising dry yeast
  • 2 cups tepid water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (use as many virgins as you like)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or salad oil (salad oil? Is that what you get when you wring out lettuce?)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-1/2 cups unbleached white flour (I don't believe I've ever had that in the house. I went with regular old bleached white flour)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (I used 4 cloves, and grated them. Take that, Frugal Gourmet!)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, whole
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (I used a Tuscany salt and pepper mixture in a grinder. Very tasty stuff)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes. The recipe didn't call for them, but The Wife suggested them. They look great, but don't stay on the dough for shit. You pick up the bread and the tomatoes unceremoniously fall off. Not sure what to do to hold them in place. Maybe toothpicks or rubber cement. 
  1. Dissolve the yeast in tepid water. Add the sugar, olive oil, vegetable oil, and salt. Mix in 3 cups of the flour and whip until the dough begins to leave the sides of the mixing bowl, about 10 minutes (Whip? Whipping dough? Is that a thing? I don't have a whipping attachment for the KitchenAid, so I used the dough hook for the entire procedure)
  2. Mix in remaining flour by hand or with a dough hook and knead the dough until it is smooth. Allow the dough to rise twice, in the bowl, and punch down after each rising (I went with about an hour for each rise. The dough will at least double in size)
  3. Oil 2 baking sheets, each 18x13"(totally didn't bother measuring. I only own two baking sheets so measuring is kind of moot). Using your fingers, press the dough out to the edges of the pan. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F (190C, Gasmark 5)
  5. Brush with the garlic mixed with the oil for topping. Sprinkle with rosemary and kosher salt on top (or whatever else you decided to chuck on there). Bake for about 20 minutes (We did 20 minutes exactly and the bread came out golden with a nice bottom crust. Kind of like a diaper)
Good Times!

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