Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fantastic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Bread. What would we do without it? I don't know about you, but I love it! Not only do I enjoy eating it, but I love to make it. There is something about getting all the ingredients together, preparing the dough, smelling it bake. That smell is like no other. I love it! I am always looking for a good recipe so when I stumbled upon this one I thought it would be good to try. I had everything I needed in my pantry so why not?

Here is what you need to make this wonderful bread!

1 c. warm (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit) water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 Tbsp. crushed dry rosemary

2 1/4-2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or until bubbly. While the yeast is getting bubbly, combine 2 C of the flour, salt, 1 Tbsp. rosemary.

Add flour mixture to yeast mixture along with 1 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix well. (I put it in my stand mixer with the dough hook on). Slowly add remaining flour to make a very soft dough--try and resist the urge to add too much flour. You probably won't use the entire extra 1/2 c. of flour. I usually only use about 1/4 cup. You want a soft, wet dough.

Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.

Lightly flour work surface and transfer dough onto this surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf and place on a greased cookie sheet or pizza stone. Cover and allow to rise another 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with remaining tablespoon of rosemary. Brush on loaves and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly golden-brown. Serve immediately (if you can) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if you want). It's absolutely *delicious*.

We have two very large Rosemary bushes in our yard so instead of using dry rosemary I used fresh and cut it up fairly small. I also used a little more inside the bread than the recipe called for. Honestly, I didn't measure it when I put it in, just eyeballed what looked good to me.

This recipe makes 2 loaves. I cooked the first one around lunch time. Maggie, Chris and I ate it down quickly. The second one I cooked right before dinner. I knew if I baked them both at the same time they wouldn't have survived until dinner!


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