Monday, November 16, 2009

Focaccia Bread

With the cooler weather upon us...okay...I've got to be honest, I went for a walk yesterday in shorts and a tank top. Little North was strapped to me and actually fell asleep in his carrier as we walked. His legs still kicked with every step I took. I guess babies sleep walk too. I cupped my upper arm around his head, slowed my pace and savored every detail of his sweet slumber.

I had to share that moment. But that's not why I started writing this post. I wanted to share a yummy recipe for focaccia bread to help transition into you into cooler temperature foods. I've already made a few batches of soup and this bread fits so perfectly with it. I tried three different recipes, each of which turned out tasting like pretzel, cracker and finally, bread. Funny thing is that we enjoyed all of them with our soup, even the batch that was more like hardtack. But what follows is the recipe for the bread version. Enjoy!

Focaccia Bread

1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 tsp. white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour (or you can just use all white flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
dash crushed red pepper
1 dash black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Mix the yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until bubbles begin to form. In large mixer bowl, stir together flour, salt, garlic powder, thyme, basil, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Add the yeast mixture and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and combine on low speed. When dough has pulled away from the sides and is sticky to the touch, plop it onto a floured surface and knead only until smooth and elastic. Oil a glass mixing bowl, put the dough in the bowl and coat the dough with the oil by turning it in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and allow it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Punch down the dough in the bowl and dump it onto a greased standard baking sheet. Pat dough until it covers the entire baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10-13 minutes until the cheese browns.

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