Fresh Focaccia Loaves

The Virtues of Bread~

You can buy decent focaccia at the bakery, but NOTHING beats homemade bread! Yet, there’s that one little ingredient we so often don’t keep around the house…patience.

The lesson of bread-making is always ‘good things come to those who wait’. Bread is not difficult to make, especially if you have an electric mixer with a bread hook. IT JUST TAKES TIME! I like to make bread, as a signal to myself, when I’m feeling restless in other areas of life. It doesn’t really matter the reason–kids and family, work, finances…diligence and good ol’ patience are most always the process AND the answer. You do what you can, with what you’re given. Then…you wait!

Focaccia provides such a tasty and fragrant reminder that in the end, the reward is worth while. These crusty little loaves have an aroma that can instantly produce a dozen new friends…holding plates. And the flavor? Savory and delicate, with a punch of herbs in every bite. Good things don’t always happen when you want them to, but they do happen!

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. ~A Dutch Proverb

To Prepare:

Pour the warm water and honey into the bowl of your electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add one package of dry active yeast and swirl around. Allow the yeast to foam for 10 minutes or so. Then add the cold water, lemon zest, 2 Tb. oil, salt, rosemary and onions. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour. Once all the flour is in the bowl, switch the paddle to the bread hook attachment. “Knead” on low for about 10 minutes.

Pull the dough away from the sides and rub the bowl down with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove the plastic wrap and turn the mixer back on for 30 seconds.

Divide the dough into two pieces and press with your fingers into two 9-10 inch round pans. As you press to dough to the edges, don’t be afraid to let your fingers puncture the dough—this will created the bumpy, rustic texture of traditional focaccia.

Cover both pans with a clean, damp towel. Allow the dough to rise again for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400* F. Before baking use the remaining tablespoon of oil and brush the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and decorate with thin onion slices, if you like.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden-brown. Turn out the bread loaves and ENJOY!

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Yield: 2 loaves

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Rosemary and Red Onion Focaccia

Ingredients:

¼ cup lukewarm water
1 package of dry active yeast
1 tsp. honey
1 ½ cups cold water
Zest of one lemon
3 Tb. olive oil + extra for bowl and pans
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 ½ TB. fresh chopped rosemary
3 Tb. chopped red onion (or shallot) + extra slices for top
4 cups all-purpose flour
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Pour the warm water and honey into the bowl of your electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add one package of dry active yeast and swirl around. Allow the yeast to foam for 10 minutes or so. Then add the cold water, lemon zest, 2 Tb. oil, salt, rosemary and onions. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour. Once all the flour is in the bowl, switch the paddle to the bread hook attachment. “Knead” on low for about 10 minutes.

Pull the dough away from the sides and rub the bowl down with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove the plastic wrap and turn the mixer back on for 30 seconds.

Divide the dough into two pieces and press with your fingers into two 9-10 inch round pans. As you press to dough to the edges, don’t be afraid to let your fingers puncture the dough—this will created the bumpy, rustic texture of traditional focaccia.

Cover both pans with a clean, damp towel. Allow the dough to rise again for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400* F. Before baking use the remaining tablespoon of oil and brush the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and decorate with thin onion slices, if you like.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden-brown. Turn out the bread loaves and ENJOY!