Friday, December 23, 2011

rosemary focaccia

I promised Stewart I would post my favorite bread recipe, and realize I forgot. As I watch the sleet come down and the grey roll from the mountains into our neighborhood, I think lots of people would enjoy eating something warm and savory with family and friends. So, with no further ado:

Rosemary Focaccia

3 tsp yeast
2 c. warm water
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c coconut oil
1 tsp salt
5-6 c freshly milled whole wheat (a hard white wheat yields the most tender focaccia) or spelt
and for the topping, minced garlic, fresh rosemary, olive oil and salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add the oils, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat the batter with a dough hook for 10 minutes. If you are making this by hand, use a very sturdy, large spoon and beat for at least 15 minutes. You are developing the gluten in the dough, which will make a nice, fluffy bread. After you notice the dough is getting stretchy and stringy, add the rest of the flour, bit by bit, kneading it in until it is smooth and bouncy. Don't add too much flour, or the bread will be heavy and dense.

Now it is time to throw another load of laundry in, or check your email or walk the dog while the dough rises a couple of times. When it has doubled, punch it down, and let it rise again. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and divide your dough in two or three pieces. I roll it out into a rectangle and place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Generously cover the dough with the garlic and olive oil, then sprinkle with chopped up fresh rosemary and the sea salt. Let the focaccia rise one time more, then bake for 25 or 30 minutes, until the dough is golden and your house will smell SO good, you might just have to stand around your kitchen and eat the first loaf as it comes out of the oven.