Monday, November 15, 2010

Rosemary Focaccia


There is something about homemade bread that I find intoxicating. Maybe it's the glass of wine I wash it down with. Betty Crapper loves her daily glass of wine.

Regardless, there's something special about bread you make yourself. This recipe is easy, but time consuming. Those of you without a stand mixer are in luck. The only fancy equipment you need to make the dough is a bowl and a wooden spoon. A rubber spatula plays a minor role. I promise it's really easy.

Betty Crapper doesn't lie. 
The bread gets baked in two 9-inch cake rounds placed on top of a super hot baking stone. If you don't have a baking stone, use an upside down, preheated rimmed baking sheet.

Rosemary Focaccia
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated (September/October 2010)
(makes two 9-inch round loaves)

Biga

1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) warm water (100-110 F)
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

Dough

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) warm water (100-110 F)
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Process
  1. The day before, combine biga ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute. You should have a uniform mass with no dry flour.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for at least 8 hours (up to 24 hours).
  3. For the dough, stir flour, water, and yeast into the biga with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute. You should have a uniform mass with no dry flour.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 15 minutes.
  5. Add 2 teaspoons Kosher salt to dough and stir with wooden spoon about 1 minute.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes.
  7. Spray rubber spatula with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. With rubber spatula, fold dough over itself 8 times as follows:
    • lift an edge of dough with spatula and fold it towards the middle.
    • turn bowl 90 degrees.
    • repeat, repeat, repeat......until you've folded dough over 8 times.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes.
  10. With rubber spatula, fold dough over itself 8 times as follows:
    • lift an edge of dough with spatula and fold it towards the middle.
    • turn bowl 90 degrees.
    • repeat, repeat, repeat......until you've folded dough over 8 times.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes.
  12. With rubber spatula, fold dough over itself 8 times as follows:
    • lift an edge of dough with spatula and fold it towards the middle.
    • turn bowl 90 degrees.
    • repeat, repeat, repeat... until you've folded dough over 8 times.
  13. Place oven rack in upper middle position. Place baking stone on rack and preheat oven to 500 F.
  14. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 30 minutes.
  15. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface (counter). BE GENTLE! 
  16. Lightly dust top of dough with flour and divide in half.
  17. Shape each piece into a 5 inch round by GENTLY tucking under edges.
  18. Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each.
  19. Sprinkle each pan with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt.
  20. Place each round of dough in a pan, top side down. Slide dough around pan to coat with oil and then flip dough over.
  21. Cover pans with plastic wrap and let rise 5 minutes at room temperature.
  22. Press dough out towards edge of pan with your fingertips. If dough resists, let rest 5-10 minutes and try again.
  23. Grab a dinner fork and poke each dough 25-30 times. Make sure you pop any large bubbles.
  24. Sprinkle rosemary over top of dough.
  25. Let dough rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes until slightly bubbly.
  26. Place pans on baking stone and immediately lower oven temperature to 450 F.
  27. Bake until top is golden brown 25-28 minutes. Switch pan placement on stone halfway through.
  28. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack 5 minutes.
  29. Remove bread from pans and return to wire rack. If any oil remains in pan, brush that on loaves.
  30. Cool 30 minutes before serving.



I promise this focaccia recipe is worth all those annoying steps. I've made it a handful of times and it always come out fantastic. 

How do you feel about bread?

28 comments:

  1. Got to make these yummy bread with my rosemary too. Thanks for sharing :D

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  2. This looks so good! If all of those "annoying steps" help to make those lovely air pockets in this bread, then they're entirely worth the trouble. (And rosemary is one of my favorites right now.) Lots of steps, but none of them look difficult- thanks for the recipe!

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  3. OH wow...looks amazing. I'm going to be dreaming of this tonight for sure.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  4. NOTHING...compares to homemade bread and wine. This looks quite lovely, can I come over? I'll bring a bottle...

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  5. Look at the texture of that bread! Beautiful.

    We love bread. We call my son "The Bread Man" b/c of his addiction to bread. I have family members who judge restaurants on their bread alone. I do believe this bread would pass.

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  6. That bread is to die for! It looks delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  7. Betty Crapper is in extremely good company when it comes to the daily glass of wine. And the fresh bread! That is some pretty foccaccia!

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  8. Oh girl, love you for this recipe, I just looovvveee a goooooddd bread. Can I come over for some and a BIG glass of wine, I could so use it!

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  9. Gorgeous focaccia!! There is nothing like fresh bread coming out of the oven. And a glass of good wine...and maybe a little cheese:)

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  10. I have made bread many times, but never focaccia and I don't know why. You have inspired me and I love the texture of your focaccia. I'm going to try your recipe--thanks for sharing.

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  11. YUM! I'm always scared to make foacaccia on my own but I might be able to handle this recipe...

    happensafterfive.wordpress.com

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  12. I feel like you when it comes to bread. Give me a homemade loaf of bread and a stick of butter and I'm set to go. This focaccia is making my mouth water!

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  13. OMG - I think I've just found the focaccia recipe I've always wanted - every recipe I've tried so far has resulted in "focaccia fail" for me - but this looks like exactly what I'm after. Definitely have to try this - like tomorrow :-)
    Sue

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  14. Beautiful! Want to dip this in olive oil or spread roasted garlic on it, or both... and how do you keep your rosemary plant so healthy? --Sue

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  15. Oh, this looks so good! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  16. this looks so yummy!! thanks for sharing this and have a nice weekend.

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  17. Just stopping by to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

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  18. WOW! Love those big air pockets inside your bread. That's a must try!

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  19. This is some really nice looking bread, wow, can't wait to try.

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  20. Hope all is good with you! Miss ya! xoxo

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  21. We miss you Betty Crapper! Hope everything is going well for you :)

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  22. When I saw your comment on my blog I got all excited about you being back only to get all sad when I realized it wasn't so. Hope you are doing ok. I miss your recipes and snarkiness :o)

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  23. LOL...I don't even remember what I googled to find this post! When you came up in the top 10 (4), I got super excited! Rock on miss Betty Crapper! You just motivated me to make scratch focassia (and I don't even know how to spell that word!)

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  24. Hey girl, where are you? Your missed! Even though you haven't posted in awhile, I still get quite a few visitors from your blog. In fact, you were #10 in my top 10 referral sites to my blog last month, and you deserve a big thanks! :)

    http://angelfoodskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/07/blogger-appreciation-day-june.html

    I sure hope everything is ok!

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  25. I didn't realize how old this blog post was. I tried this recipe twice and now I'm hooked. Had to reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes, and it turned out perfect! 90% of the Focaccia recipes out there don't give you the big bubbles and yummy texture that this recipe does.

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  26. It gave me great quinces, and the recipe that I am not happy, I am very grabs! thank you in advance
    I board a good recipe already dealt a site like this
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