Olive Oil Focaccia w/ Rosemary, Tomatoes and Garlic…and Soda

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Yet another bread recipe pulled from my favorite book of bread! Except this time, it’s more like it came from it’s next best relative, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.

Today is cold and rainy and just, blah. I’ll happily admit that I dream of days like this because it’s the perfect excuse to just be one with the kitchen. Cookbook out, music on, oven heated and scale at the ready, I decided to make focaccia bread.

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The beauty of artisan bread is that it’s often no-knead, and this book calls to the laziness in all of us. Even the most inexperienced baker can make this happen. Add some olive oil, herbs, tomatoes and garlic and you can impress the socks off anyone. The dough itself has a looser crumb with inconsistent air pockets, which is desirable in an artisan bread.

It’s another one of those recipes on a long long list of others that lets you make it anything you want it to be. In the spirit of being cozy indoors, I resorted to ingredients that are familiar, classic and easily enjoyed by every taste bud around.

DOUGH: (makes 2)

1 3/4 c. lukewarm water

1/8 c. olive oil

1/2 T. Yeast

3/4 T. Kosher salt

1 T. sugar

3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

TOPPINGS:

Halved grape tomatoes

Fresh rosemary

Minced garlic

Sea salt

Shredded parmesan

  1. The book uses a method they call dump and stir. To a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the water and yeast. Measure out the rest of the ingredients and add those in too. Mix on medium speed until fully combined.
  2. Cover the mixer bowl and let sit 2 hours. It won’t rise as much as other doughs, but should look activated.
  3. After the two hours, dump onto floured surface and rotate into a ball. Transfer to a floured pizza stone or baking sheet. Flatten the ball into a disc gently with your fingers about 1/2 inch thick. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Using your fingers again, gently push the dough further out until it is half the original thickness. Scatter the toppings to your own taste over the top and let rest and rise for 20 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven.
  5. Bake for 15-25 minutes until golden brown. The time will depend on the thickness of your bread. Mine took 18 minutes total.

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If you’re watching the clock while your bread rises like I was, you can make up a batch of this. It’s refreshing and a definite step away from the typical cola you might have in your fridge. It’s simply rosemary, honey, crushed ginger and soda water. The recipe is for one glass so, if you love it, increase the portions and make a pitcher.

ROSEMARY, GINGER & HONEY SODA:

1 sprig of rosemary

1 thumb size piece of ginger, crushed or pressed with your palm

1 star of anise

2 T. raw honey

2 T. hot water

soda water

ice

  1. In the cup that you want to drink out of, combine everything but the soda and ice. Let the honey dissolve in the hot water.
  2. Add ice and soda water.
  3. Drink!

 

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