Monday, February 6, 2012

Rosemary focaccia with roasted garlic and cracked black pepper

Make your own bread! It's easier than you might think. I've had pretty good results with homemade bread at our high altitude but sometimes it does get a bit dry and crumbly. I found this site about adjustments to make in high altitudes. The website is about Durango, CO which is at 6512 feet and we're just over 5000 so I haven't noticed a huge change in my baking but some of you at almost 7000 will notice a difference. It's amazing how high up we are in Colorado!

Anyways. This recipe is from Veganomicon. Seriously, just go make your own bread. It took me many tries and fails before I got it down. You can get it too! Focaccia is a really good bread to start out with. My problem with bread is that I really need to make sure the water is warm. I have poor circulation and cold water feels warm to my hands. I started testing the water on my arm to be sure it was warm enough. Simple fix! I bet your bread baking issues, if you have them, have a simple solution too.

"Fresh Rosemary Focaccia"


1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast (or 1 scant Tbs)
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra whole leaves for garnish
a few cloves of roasted garlic, chopped
3 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 cups each all-purpose and whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil for brushing
coarse salt for garnish
Feel free to add your own additions to the dough- I added the garlic and pepper to the original recipe but it would be great with olives or sun dried tomatoes or other freshly chopped spices.

1. Combine the yeast and war water in a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil, chopped rosemary, garlic, cracked pepper, salt and flour. If the dough is sticky, work in a little more flour, 1 Tbs at a time.

2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes, until smooth. Pour a little olive oil in the original bowl, add the kneaded dough and turn a few times to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise 1 hour, or until a hole poked into the side of the risen dough fills up slowly. No need to put this in a really warm place- I just let it rise on the counter.

3. Punch down the dough, return it to the floured surface, and knead a few times. Then, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased cookie sheet (or a silpat covered cookie sheet!). Poke several holes into the dough with a fork, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt and rosemary leaves. Cover again with a dish towel and let rise for 20 minutes.

4. While the dough is rising for the second time, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the bread is lightly browned and firm. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

This would be great for sandwiches or as a dipping bread or even a side to your dinner.

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