One of the best things about winter is that I can have something in the oven at any time and not worry about how hot the house is going to get. I get to spend my free time (or my in between free minutes) baking up all the thing that I would not dare bake in the summer. (lots of bread and cakes) Yeah, I might complain a little about how cold it is outside (to my defense, -20 is kind of a bitch) but then I think of the super hot humid days that come during the summer and cringe. At least when its cold out I am able to get warm, (que oven) but when its super hot and humid, I just turn into something that border lines a wet towel and the rabbit animal… Not so pleasant. I much prefer cooler weather. So no big surprise….I made bread.. or focaccia to be exact. And now you should too because first off, you want to eat it, and secondly, you can probably whip this up faster then it would take to get all of you winter warmies on and leave the house. Don't leave, just turn the oven on. The stuff, which isn't a whole lot… Flour and salt. A mixture of honey, water, and yeast. And olive oil. Its pretty much my pizza dough recipe, tweaked with the addition of oil, less flour and no kneading. Mix together the wet and dry…I used my nifty dough whisk, but a wooden spoon or even your hand works. Mix mix mix. The dough should be really slack and sticky. And guess what.. no need to knead! Just make sure the dough is uniformly incorporated…hehe.. uniformly incorporated… sounds weird. Drizzle the dough (don't worry about making it into a ball, a blob is good) with a little oil and place in a nice warm place topped with a towel to rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size. Once is has fully risen, drizzle 2 tablespoons oil in two 9 inch cake pans. Divide dough in half, and kind of smoosh dough into pans. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes or so. When dough has finished its second rise, drizzle each with another tablespoon of oil and with your fingers, fill out the pan and indent the dough, kind of like playing a piano or tickling a puppy(?)….Then layer your toppings (if you want any) Start with any herbs, then the veggies. Then last, any cheese you got. I used thyme, cracked black pepper, tomato, onion, topped with parmesan cheese. And the other one is just plain old salt. Pulled from the oven when nice and golden brown..set on a wire rack to cool for a few minute and removed from the pans. The mister was practically salivating waiting for a slice… and he was so not disappointed. Crispy outside with soft airy insides… Everything a perfect focaccia should be. The one with the toppings was the favorite for the first night, but for a peanut butter and cheese panini for lunch the next day…plain is the way to go.. My suggestion, do what I did, jazz one up and leave one plain. And then make more if you need too because the forecast call for another week of below zero!!! Oh the things that I'll get to make! (me being positive) Stay warm! -C
Focaccia with out without stuff
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt plus 2 teaspoons for topping (can use more or less if you want)
- 2 teaspoons active yeast (or one package)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar if vegan)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Thyme or any other spices
- Thinly sliced tomato
- Thinly sliced onion
- Parmesan Cheese
- Anything you want!
In a bowl or jar, mix honey (or sugar), yeast and warm water together and let sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and starts to foam In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 1 tablespoon of salt. With either a wooden spoon, dough whisk, or if you have one, a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the yeast mixture with the flour. The dough is going to be really sticky so mixing might get a little gloppy, but keep at it until everything is full incorporated.. for about 3-5 minutes and don't be afraid to use your hand… you can wash it off. Once mixed drizzle with oil and cover with a towel. Let rise for about an hour or until dough has dubbed in size. When dough has double, coat two 8 or 9 inch cake pans each with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Dump dough onto floured surface and cut in half. Take each half a place in pan. cover and let rise again for another 20ish minutes. preheat over to 400 degrees After second rise, lightly take your fingers and push down dough, making little indents all over the surface. Drizzle each with another tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle each with a teaspoon of salt. If using spices or any other toppings, nows the time to layer them on. And do any cheese last! Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. When done, place on a wire rack and let cool a bit before removing from pans. Done!! To store, place in a paper bag.. best eaten within a few days!