Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Look at me, all fancy like, being a guest blogger!  This is my first blog post, all honored and stuff.

Anyway, Rosemary Focaccia Bread is easy to make and so freaking yummy you can't help but make inappropriate noises when eating the finished product.  I use the recipe from The Taste of Home Baking Book.  Observe:

You'll need:

2 medium onions, chopped (or, several generous shakes of dried onions, which is what I do)
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (I always just use the whole little envelope - works out fine)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 cups warm water (not too warm, or you'll kill the yeast), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cups all purpose flour (I'm a flour snob, I only use King Arthur's unbleached flour.  Do as I do and                                                                                                                                                                                   you won't be sorry)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed, divided

Coarse Salt

Now do this:

If you're using regular onions, saute them in 1/4 cup olive oil until tender; cool.  In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; let stand for 5 minutes.  (This is called proofing the yeast.  Don't skip doing this, don't rush it, it's important)  Add 2 tablespoons oil, salt and remaining water.  Add 2 cups flour.  Beat until smooth (I use a Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment for this part) Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  (I switch to the dough hook attachment at this point.  Soft dough means that it's not sticking to the sides of the bowl when the beater is going around.  You don't want to add TOO much flour though, a little at a time, or you'll end up with tough, dry bread.

Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  (I've done this both ways, I like kneading dough by hand, but if I'm short on time, I'll use the dough hook attachment on the mixer for 6 minutes)  Add onions (either the sauteed ones or a few generous shakes of dried onions) and half of the rosemary; knead 1 minute longer.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Pat each portion flat.  Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.  Grease two baking sheets, or one very large one, and sprinkle with cornmeal.  (I don't use the cornmeal, I generously grease the pans with olive oil)  Stretch each portion of dough into a 10 inch circle on prepared pans.  Cover and let rest until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Lightly dimple the tops of the bread with your fingertips and brush with remaining oil.  Sprinkle the top with coarse salt and remaining rosemary.  (You can do this, or you can brush the tops with the garlic and herb infused olive oil you've made to go with it) *  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.


*Garlic and Herb infused Olive Oil

Don't be scared, this is so easy...and the yum factor is off the charts.

You'll need:

1/2 cup olive oil
4 tsp. dried herbs, such as basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary or sage.  (I use all of them)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt (don't sweat it if it's not kosher - any old salt will do)
1-2 finely minced cloves of garlic (I use the pre-minced garlic in the jar)

Now do this:

Warm 1/2 cup of olive oil over low heat in a small saucepan.  Add herbs, salt and garlic.  Allow to remain on low heat for an hour to an hour and a half.  (See?  Easy peasy)

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I double this recipe, since it's so good and you'll want to dip every single bite of bread in it.  It's also good with a little balsamic vinegar stirred in once it's done.  I serve it in individual cups so as not to offend with the inevitable double dipping that will occur.  Bonus: when it's simmering it will make your house smell like a fine Italian restaurant!  *drool*


  1. I could actually pull something like this off! I might even TRY IT.

  2. Totally down for doing this. Yup.

    I mean, the garlic infused nom stuff... I already make focaccia.

  3. Lori, you write like you talk. This shizzle is FUNNY!