Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rosemary Focaccia

New year, new improvements on recipes past.  I'm learning and refining. Getting a brandy-new-spankin-awesome KitchenAid, for Christmas,  helps too!
I LOVE this bread recipe. Simply because it is easy, delicious and always a crowd pleaser. Totally versatile and great for last minute get togethers!
Do you have 1 1/2 hours? Then you have plenty of time for this bread!

Rosemary Focaccia was first posted last year as one of my first yeast breads I've ever made. I've made it about 5 or 6 times since the original post last year. This week I've made three of them!

Rosemary Focaccia
1 Cup Warm Water
2 TBS Whole Milk
2 Tsp Dry Active Yeast (less than 1 packet)
1 Tbs Dried Rosemary
1 Tsp Dried Thyme

1 Tsp Sugar
1/4-1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Fresh Ground Sea Salt
1 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Cups Bread Flour
Asiago Cheese

Combine in a large measuring cup warm water (think baby bottle warm) and milk. Gently add the yeast and give it a brief stir.  Add Rosemary & Thyme, rubbing between your palms to activate it's yummy-ness. Add sugar, salt & pepper and olive oil. Gently pour the mixture into your mixer's bowl.  Use the dough hook attachment.  Add half of the flour and turn the mixer on to stir. When most of the flour had been combined then add the rest of the flour (1-2 minutes). When dough ball is formed, allow kneading for about 3 minutes, pushing the dough off the hook if it climbs too high up the bowl. It will be a very solid dough. Take the dough out and fold over once or twice to create a seamless ball, pinching the  dough ball closed at one end. Add enough olive oil to coat your mixing bowl, roll dough around to coat and place dough, seam down.
Allow dough to rest, covered with plastic wrap for about one hour or until dough has doubled.  
Preheat your pizza stone to 400 degrees.
Pull out a sheet of parchment cut a little bigger than your pizza stone.  I find this is a great way to lift the  bread off the stone when it's done baking and decrease the possibility of burning your fingers!
In the photos you see the 'pan-lining foil/parchment' paper, that's all i had on hand but I don't suggest using it as it crackles and tends to break as you lift it up.
Cover your parchment with a spritz of flour and turn your dough out directly on to it.  Lightly pat down with your whole hand until it is about a 8-9 inch round.  Grate some Asiago cheese over the top to cover evenly. Maybe a half of a cup? I grate directly on until it looks good, when you think it's covered at add a little more. Sprinkle a pinch of Rosemary and I like a pinch of sea salt on top.  Then transfer it onto the pizza stone and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  The cheese will toast to a beautiful crispy brown.
Allow the bread to cool for an hour or so before serving, if you can wait that long! 

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