Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Focaccia Bread

This is my new favorite recipe. I tried it for a church potluck and it came out beautifully. We didn't even get to eat it because it was gone so fast. The recipe instructs to bake them on a cookie sheet, but they are so much better if you bake them in round cake pans. They come out thicker and softer, and they're also a perfect circle - I have trouble getting them right on a cookie sheet. Let me know what you think of it and how yours comes out!

2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg dry yeast (or 1 Tblsp)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup very warm water
Olive oil
Canned Parmesan cheese
Herbs, dried or fresh (basil, oregano, rosemary)

1. Mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil and the water. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves side of bowl.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Kneed 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

3. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into flattened 12-inch round on greased cookie sheet (or press into two 8-inch or 9-inch greased round cake pans). Cover and let rise in warm place 20 minutes.

4. Prick centers of rounds thoroughly with fingers. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and herbs.

5. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets (or cake pans) and cool on wire rack.

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