Hello, all! I realize that it's been quite some time since my last post, but I was having some computer problems...."problems" meaning I dropped my laptop down some stairs and cracked the screen. I was without my own computer for a bit until my lovely man got a new screen and installed it for me. But hey, I'm back, and here's a yummy and easy focaccia recipe!
This bread is lovely orange color from the sun dried tomatoes and bursting with flavor from lots of garlic, basil, and rosemary. It's easy to make in either the bread machine or by hand; I've included instructions for both methods. Have this bread the next time you make an Italian meal, or coupled with a soup and green salad.
Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Focaccia
2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups flour
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped finely
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
1 Tablespoon salt
[for the top of the bread]
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse salt
To make in a bread machine:
Combine the yeast, water, sugar, flour, 3 Tablespoons olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and 1 Tablespoon salt in the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Set the machine to the "dough" setting and turn on. Check on the dough about 5 minutes into the cycle to make sure that it is coming together into a smooth ball. If it is too dry, add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, or if it is too runny, add flour 1 Tablespoon at a time, until a smooth ball of dough starts to form. Allow the cycle to complete.
When the dough cycle has finished, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Place on a baking sheet that is lightly sprayed with cooking spray and form into a round shape about 1-2" thick. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the towel and make dimples all over the top of the dough with your fingertips. Brush the top of the dough with the 2 teaspoons olive oil, and sprinkle with the rosemary and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. Bread is done when the bottom of is slightly golden and the bread makes a hollow sound when tapped. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing.
To make by hand:
Combine the yeast, water, and sugar in a large bowl and allow to sit for 3 minutes. The top of the liquid should have a creamy foam. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, salt, and olive oil and mix. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with a spoon after each addition, and using your hands when the mixture becomes too thick for the spoon. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a ball of dough that is smooth and elastic. If your dough is too dry, add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, if your dough is too runny, add flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach the correct consistency. Form your dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Pour a small amount of olive oil on the top of the dough, and turn the ball to coat the entire outside with oil. Put a clean towel over the bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, the dough should be about doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface again and knead a few times. Form into a round shape about 1-2" thick and place on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Place the towel over the top of the dough again and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the towel and make dimples all over the top of the dough with
your fingertips. Brush the top of the dough with the 2 teaspoons olive
oil, and sprinkle with the rosemary and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Bake in
pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. Bread is done when the bottom of is
slightly golden and the bread makes a hollow sound when tapped. Allow
to cool 5 minutes before slicing.
Tips and Tricks:
1. Make sure you watch your dough. Altitude, humidity in the air, temperature, and other factors can affect how dry or wet your bread dough is. The amount of flour and water in bread recipes is a basic guideline, but you may need to add more water or more flour depending on your specific situation. The dough should form a smooth ball that is not too sticky. Add flour or water as directed in order to achieve the correct consistency.
2. Kalamata olives would also be a delicious addition to this bread. I chose not to include them, because Mike may or may not be allergic to them and I didn't want to take the risk. If you would like the olives in your bread, add 1/4 cup pitted and chopped olives when you add the tomatoes and basil. Alternately, you can add them on top of your bread with the salt and rosemary.
Well, that's all for today. I'll have lots more delicious recipes coming your way soon!
The Fur Ninja <3 3>