I got pretty frustrated the other day. It happened when my kitchen lights decided to stop working. Next thing you know I was feeling annoyed, overheated and my forehead was crinkled. Two lamps plugged in later, I was back to normal and hung out with some rosemary and got my focaccia on.
I took the top photo inside, but the second one outside. Those make-do lamps were making everything look really weird. Kinda like that creepy shadow behind me down there and the spotlight effect up there. Scary!
So anyhow. This bread is really good. I’m torn though. Half of me wants sandwiches made of proscuitto, melted mozzarella and basil and the other half wants to top this bread with peanut butter, bananas and honey. Oh, rosemary, way to be good at being both savory and sweet.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- pinch of sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water, about 100ºF
- 2 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil + more for topping + greasing the pans
- 3 cups bread flour
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 T salt + kosher salt for sprinkling
- 2-3 T fresh rosemary
- Stir the yeast and sugar into 1/3 cup warm water. Let it rest for 10 minutes, or until super frothy.
- In a large bowl, mix the olive oil into the room temperature water. Add the frothy yeast water. Whisk in 2 cups of bread flour and the tablespoon of salt. Add the rosemary. Then, cup by cup, whisk in the rest of the flour (both bread flour and all-purpose). As the mixture goes from a batter to a thick dough, you’ll want to switch to a wooden spoon. By the time you get to the last cup of flour, you’ll be able to knead the dough. Begin to knead it in the bowl trying to incorporate the flour stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Once the bowl is clean, turn dough out onto the cupboard and knead for 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary. (Note: You can totally use your stand mixer for the dough. I sure did. Just use your paddle attachment until the last cup of flour.Then switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 8 minutes or until the sides of the bowl are clean.)
- In a large clean bowl, pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil and using your hand or pastry brush, spread the oil out to cover the bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an hour and a half, or until just about double in size.
- Brush the bottom of two small cookie sheets (about 15 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches in size) with olive oil. Feel free to cover with parchment paper too and brush that with additional olive oil. Divide the dough between the two pans and using your hands spread the dough out to fit, or until all of the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Cover the breads and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. After the rest, dimple the breads with your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon. Cover again and leave to rise for 2 hours.
- With 30 minutes to go before the rise finishes, place a couple cake pans filled with water or a large baking dish filled with water in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. The pans of water will create steam for when the bread is baking.
- Once the dough is done rising, brush the tops with olive oil. Sprinkle kosher salt evenly over the bread from about a foot over head. (It helps it spread out evenly.)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is evenly golden, rotating half way through. Turn out onto a wire rack withit 3-5 minutes of removing it from the oven; this will keep the bottom of the bread crispy. Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating. Then eat a sandwich for dinner.
A bit of flour jumped out of the mixer at me. How thoughtful of it to share, right?
Note to self: wear an apron now and then.