Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cooking with Auden: Focaccia

As the weather has begun to turn to fall, I always feel the urge to make some nice hearty soups, and what is soup with out some great bread for dipping.

This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Fields of Greens. Almost everything I have made from it is great, but never overly complicated.

This was also the first time that Auden really got into kneading the dough, in the past he has never really enjoyed touching the stickiness.

2 packs yeast
2 cups warm water (110 deg)
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 EVOO
5 1/2 cups flour (I used 3 all-purpose and 2.5 bread flour)
2 tbs salt
2 Tbs herbs, thyme, rosemary or sage
Course Sea salt

Start by mixing 1/2 water with the yeast and sugar. Let sit about 10 minutes until bubbles form.

Add the remaining water, EVOO and herbs. In a seperate bowl mix the flour with the salt.

Gradually mix in the flour to the wet ingredients, about a cup at a time.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth.

Place dough in a oiled bowl and cover for about 2 hours until doubled in size. Then divide the dough in half.

The recipe calls for baking in a pan. I decided to try one piece in a pan and the other on a pizza stone.
Spread the dough out into a 9 x 13 pan or onto parchment. Cover, and let rise at least another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 deg.

Dimple the surface with your finger.

Brush the surface with more EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.

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