During December 2011, I experienced 3 gallbladder attacks within a week and a half. Although I don't think my diet was THAT bad before this happened, I decided after the third one to drastically alter my eating habits. So, for at least the next couple of months (until my baby comes), my goal is to seek out and share low-fat, high fiber, and low-sugar recipes. I figured as long as I was figuring things out for myself and my family, I may as well share what's working!

May 31, 2010

Rosemary Focaccia

A few months ago, I made a batter-style focaccia that I found food-blog-hopping...and I can't find the blog anymore!  It was very fast, very easy, and very tasty--and I've been looking for something similar ever since.  Friday night, I had promised my husband that I would make some italian bread to go along with our spaghetti dinner.  Well, as you would expect, I forgot about this promise until about 4:30.  After searching foodgawker for a minute or two, I found this Rosemary Focaccia recipe.  (Which was minus the rosemary for us, since I didn't have any.  I have since remedied the situation.)  It was quick and fantastic!

Rosemary Focaccia
Yeild: 1 9-in. round loaf

1 pkg. active dry yeast, (2 1/4 Tbls.)
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water, plus more for loosening dough
1/2 tsp. salt
Kosher salt
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Let stand till foamy, 5-10 min.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In large bowl, mix flour and salt.  Add yeast mixture; stir to combine.  Gradually add water, one Tablespoon at a time, until dough is moistened enough to form a ball.  Knead dough in bowl until smooth.  Remove dough and oil bowl; replace dough and cover with a moist cloth.  Let rise until doubled, about 30 min.

Drizzle 1-2 Tbls. olive oil into 9-in. glass pie pan.  Very lightly press dough into dish.  Let rise until dough reaches edges of pie pan.  Using your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon, poke indentations evenly over the surface of the dough.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and Kosher salt.  Bake for 10-15 min. or until top crust begins to brown.

NOTES: You know the part where it tells you to add water one Tbls. at a time?  Well, I added too much.  So, I had to toss in a bit of flour to balance it out.  Still turned out great!  (Whew.)

Prior to kneading the dough the first time, I coated my hands with olive oil.  It kept them from sticking before the dough was holding together just right.  And, instead of coating the bowl with flour, I just coated the dough ball.

If you are in the Seattle area, I *HIGHLY* (is there enough emphasis on that word?) recommend heading to Pike Place Market and picking up some garlic-infused olive oil from Sotto Voce, (they're on the triangle block across from the main market).  I have been using their oil for several years now and just can't get enough.  I've even brought Ryan on board the Sotto Voce train--and when we start getting low, he reminds me that we need to make a trip to PPM.  This oil is fabulous on EVERYTHING, but especially delicious on bread and pizza.  That's what I used to coat my dough, oil my pan, and drizzle on top of the focaccia.  It totally transforms the taste.  If you're starting to get jealous because you don't live in Seattle, you'll just have to come visit.  Or check out the Sotto Voce website and order a bottle (or 2 or 3).  Our favorite is Olio Santo, but we also like Olio Pomodoro and Olio Basilico and I like Olio al Funghi.

I didn't punch my dough down before I put it in the pie pan.  I just plopped it in and spread it out a little--I didn't have time to wait for it to rise again.  And, I'm not sure how long I did let it rise once I put it in the pan.  But, it was what I felt was the perfect thickness when all was said and done.  If you have time to wait for another 30 min. rise, by all means, punch it down, knead it a bit (to develop the gluten strands), and then let it rise again before baking.

Finally, if you don't have rosemary...or if you don't like rosemary, you can use any herb combo you happen to appreciate.  I didn't use any herbs--just the Kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  If you are using dried rosemary, pour it into your hand and crush the leaves before sprinkling them on the dough.  It will give you a slightly stronger rosemary flavor.

Most importantly--ENJOY this bread!  It's much easier than my long-winded explanation would make it seem. And let me know what you think when you try it!

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