Saturday, February 2, 2013

Simple Focaccia D'Italia

      Well, I did it again! Here I was, minding my own business while making my 40 year old delicious homemade bread recipe, when I'll be darned if my invisible Pookah turned on the television to the Food channel. It tripped on Anne Burrell's recipe for focaccia bread. I couldn't believe how uncomplicated it was! (Thanks, Anne! You related to me?)
      Then... of course, I tried to put some beautiful stuff in it, reshape it, and tweak the measures to make several loaves. 

For one HUGE Loaf ( round, rectangular, size of a mini planet)
Preparation time is about 20 minutes, 
Rising time, around 1 hour and 45 minutes.  
Baking, about 20 minutes.

                                                                    Easy Focaccia D'Italia 

~1 1/2 cups warm water with 1 package of yeast

Add a large tablespoon of sugar, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; Put it aside to let the yeast and liquids marry till it foams (about 10-15 minutes.)

~Right after you fix the yeast mixture, put 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomato in some olive oil and/or Italian dressing) for 15 minutes as well to hydrate. 

( You can use Roma fresh, diced. If so, skip the hydration)

***Meanwhile:  Pour 5 cups of all purpose or unbleached flour into a LARGE BOWL ( or food processor with dough blade) 

Stir in at least 2 tablespoons** each of the following ingredients:

Coarse Sea or Kosher salt **
Brown sugar
Dried Sweet Basil
Dried Rosemary
Dried Italian seasoning
sesame or poppy seeds
**garlic powder ( optional in amount)
Mix together 

Corn Meal (See bottom when ready to bake)


*** Add the chopped hydrated sun dried tomatoes***

1 cup diced pitted Calamata olives

1/2 cup Asiago or Grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated  Gruyere or Sharp Cheddar cheese

Mix again all ingredients. ADD YEAST LIQUID. Mix well and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. ( if too wet, dust with a little more flour. If too dry, add a little warm water.)

Form ball. In glass bowl, pour enough extra virgin olive oil OVER the ball.

Turn it over and pour a little MORE! ( Yes, it is an oily bread, so don't worry about excess!)

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it nap for about 50 minutes. ( If you are making more than one loaf, now's the time to start the process with the next one-- same ingredients, process, and amount exactly.)

When you remove the risen dough, punch down and place it in a large PIZZA pan that is sprinkled with CORN MEAL. TURN OVER and sprinkle more corn meal. Make sure the edges are tucked into the pan.. Pour a little more oil and let it rise for another 50 minutes or until doubled. 

 Loosely tent cover with foil (do not wrap.) Bake at 400°  for about 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. 

Remove and let it cool~Report  your results to me and tell me what you think~ 

God bless you and thanks world.  Once again, you've given me someone to talk to and share with! 

( That is, besides my Pookah!)

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