I hope your holiday celebrations were memorable. I was still in DC when I scheduled this post. While I brought my laptop and can download pictures, I was not sure how much time I would have to prepare a proper post. It's all about the vacation, right?
Lately I find myself posting recipes that, while not star chef quality, are ones that have to be applauded for their ease of preparation and are 100% fail-proof. Let's face it, while I could pull off a restaurant dish, I am not sure I could, or would, want to do it every night. By the end of the year I could use a few breaks and time savers in the kitchen.
Such was this recipe for focaccia I found at the King Arthur website. I have tried to use my pizza dough recipe, because there are those that swear it will work. It does not.
Now before you get all up in my face with the "bet my recipe is better", this wasn't meant to spike your blood pressure, it is all about the "don't stop trying" if one recipe fails you. I would have to say I try once a year and finally this year was the winner.
Focaccia should have a crisp exterior and a firm but airy interior and while you would think a bread stick (aka; pizza dough) would work, something happens when pizza dough meant for thin crusts tries to masquerade as a 2-inch thick bread. You see, a great pizza dough should blister and char at extreme temperatures where a focaccia should be baked as you would, a loaf.
Different product, different recipe.
The best part of this recipe is it is exactly the right amount to make a focaccia that fits in a quarter sheet pan. No need to half the ingredients. Absolutely perfect for two or four.
I first served this bread in 2x4-inch pieces with a bowl of soup. The second time around, I sliced it horizontally for paninis.The last slice was for the birds. No waste whatsoever.
If you re looking for the type of focaccia you thought you could only eat in a really good Italian restaurant, you must make this.
Let's get baking..............
makes 1-12x9-inch (2" thick) focaccia
* 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
* 1 cup warm water
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
* 2 1/2 cups (approximately) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle on the focaccia after baking
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Add 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour. Stir with a whisk and let this sit for 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to get going.
Add the salt and the whole wheat flour. Add the rest of the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough has formed a smooth ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a draft-free place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down, and turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Stretch the dough into a 14-inch circle and place on a greased baking sheet. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F while the focaccia is rising. Dimple it with your fingers and place it in the oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Drizzle with the olive oil.