Sunday, January 25, 2009

Herb Focaccia

I have long had a fear of making yeast breads - something about making sure the water is the right temperature combined with letting the dough rise just freaks me out - it's too exact. But I can say with certainty that this bread helped me to get over that fear. It is the perfect "introduction to yeast"; with an end result of a delicious, herb-topped bread.

The original recipe says to divide into 6 equal portions, but since I needed 8, it was really no problem to just make the individual loaves a little smaller. Just make sure that if you divide this into smaller portions, that you start off with a shorter baking time. I always leave out the olives since Chuck doesn't like them; but I could imagine that they would add a nice, salty flavor to the already delicious bread.

Herb Focaccia
from The Sisters' Cafe
Makes 6 individual loaves

2 packages active dry yeast (or 2 Tb)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
3 cups flour
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped olives
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon salt

Herb Glaze
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Mix yeast, sugar and water in small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.

Blend remaining ingredients except herb glaze in large bowl of electric mixer; stir in yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes (this is easiest with the Kitchen Aid with dough hook but you can also knead by hand) until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in greased bowl; cover and let rise in warm place 1 hour. Grease baking sheet.

Punch dough down and divide evenly into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into 5-inch circle; place on baking sheet. Cover and let rise 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush tops of each bread with herb glaze and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown.


Katie said...

I share the fear of yeast...though there is a single "Highly Active Yeast" packet in my freezer, just waiting to be used. This might just be the recipe!

Cara said...

Yum! Love that bread for sandwiches toasted under the broiler...might have to make some soon!
I am totally with you on the yeast thing. I am definitely not into things that have to be so exact!!

Donna-FFW said...

This looks like the perfect thing to go with soup. I love the fact that you can use the kitchen aid. They look delicious.

Anonymous said...

Colleen!! These look SOOOO delicious! Seriously, what a great bread to have with a meal. i love it! ps - I LOVE those candlesticks too! :)

kathleen & tom said...

I, too, have that same fear of yeast, but I have a bunch that I need to use before it expires. Maybe I'll try this! And you are right...we have the same taste in food! All of your recent posts sound delicious!

Kristen616 said...

Oh yum that looks delicious! Perfect with a soup or stew. I haven't tried focaccia yet but now I'm dying to!

Ellie said...

This looks amazing! I definitely want to try making focaccia soon!