I woke up much earlier than I had planned to one Saturday morning, and couldn’t fall back to sleep. It was frustrating as the week had left me exhausted and the one thing I was looking forward to was a decent sleep in. Having a couple of hours to kill until a somewhat decent breakfast hour, I decided to make bread. Yes, bread. I don’t know how on earth that thought came about, but once my mind got going on what I type of bread I could make, I was getting excited! I decided on a focaccia and hunted around for a recipe. This one from Allrecipes.com seemed to be quite well received, and luckily, I had everything I needed.
Rosemary and Cheese Focaccia
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 (7g) package instant yeast
- 1 1/3 cups warm water (45oC)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large plastic or glass bowl (not metal), stir together the flours and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Sprinkle the sugar and yeast into that well. Carefully pour the water into the well. Let stand until the yeast begins to act, about 5 minutes.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the well. With a wooden spoon stir the mixture in the centre of the bowl. Gradually widen the circle of stirring to take in all of the flour at the sides of the well.
- Turn out on a floured surface, and knead just until smooth, adding the rosemary gradually while kneading. Keep the dough soft. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of the oil into a clean bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning once to oil the top. Cover. Let rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Punch the dough down. Use 1 teaspoon of the oil to coat a baking sheet, and place the dough on the baking sheet. Gently press the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over the top of the dough.
- Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to dimple the dough at 1 1/2 inch intervals. Sprinkle with the cheese (and more rosemary if desired).
- Place in a cold oven on the center shelf. Place a flat pan of hot water on the shelf below the bread. Let rise until doubled, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Turn on the oven to 190oC. Bake the focaccia for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned on top. Remove from the pan, and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.
It finished just when the sun was creeping up for a crisp autumn day. It wasn’t that bad that I couldn’t sleep after all!