Welcome to #TwelveLoaves May where the group is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Led by Lora at Cake Duchess, this baking group bakes along a theme each month and shares the joy and challenges of baking breads at home. This month the theme is open and welcome to all who bake bread– “make-what-you-love” is the goal and we hope you will join us this month.
Focaccia is an excellent place to start for those of us who enjoy making bread at home. By definition, focaccia is an Italian flatbread made with olive oil and often with herbs. This basic recipe can grow in many directions such that you can customize your focaccia to suit your tastes and ingredients. An added benefit of this particular recipe that I found on Food Network is that the bread can be made over the course of an afternoon. There are two periods of resting and rising for the dough– each for an hour– and the actual active time in making this focaccia is brief in comparison. I decided at lunchtime that this would be a nice appetizer to share with friends at dinnertime and was able share it only a few hours later. The smell of freshly baked bread is a welcome way to start an evening with friends; eating this focaccia with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar set the tone for a relaxed night of good food and great company.
Recipe from Anne Burrell of Food Network
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
5 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped (my addition)
In a small bowl combine the water, yeast and sugar. Mix it gently and allow it to sit for about five minutes. When the yeast starts to foam slightly you can move on to the next step.
I used a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to make this focaccia. Add the yeast mixture to the flour, salt and 1/2 cup olive oil. Mix on low until combined then on medium low for a few minutes until the dough comes together. If it is too sticky add a few more Tablespoons of flour.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a greased glass bowl. Turn the dough a few times so that it is coated on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap coated in baking spray. Let the dough rise for an hour or until it doubles in size.
Coat a baking sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of oil. yes, this is a lot of oil. Go with it. Spread the dough into a rectangle and place it in the olive oil. Then turn the dough over and coat the second side as well. Use your fingers (actually knuckles work best) to poke indentations all over the dough. This step gives focaccia its familiar texture. Sprinkle the sea salt and the rosemary on the top of the bread. I covered the dough loosely with plastic wrap covered with baking spray. Let it rise for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle the dough with a bit more olive oil and then bake for 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Here are more beautiful breads shared by the group this month:
- Apple Kuchen by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Basic Focaccia by Holly at A Baker’s House
- Buttermilk Sourdough Waffles by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Cinnamon Crescent Rolls by Krista at A Handful of Everything
- Cinnamon Rolls by Dionne at Try Anything Once Culinary
- Cinnamon Sugar Challah by Paula at Vintage Kitchen
- Olive Bread by Rossella at Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Bread by Lora at Cake Duchess
- San Francisco Sourdough Bread by Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Zucchini Pineapple Quick Bread by Lyn at The Lovely Pantry
Want to join the #TwelveLoaves group? It’s easy! Here’s what to do:
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this May, 2013, and posted on your blog by May 31, 2013.