Saturday, March 13, 2010

Food. Bread, to be specific

Focaccia in this case. Few years back went to an Italian place with some friends and the "Look at the menu and decide what you want" introduction was some fresh focaccia, olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. I've been hooked on it since.

Happily, the bread is easy; lots of recipes out there. I just tried this one a few days ago, and it came out great. Twice.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle, let rise 20-30 minutes. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm

The spices are all optional, use these or something else. And instead of Parmesan or mozzarella I tried grating some Asiago over the second batch. Goood stuff, Maynard. I didn't go by time on the rising, first time waited till it doubled, second till it looked about right. And it does only take 15 minutes to bake.

The oil is my own mix. Few years back tried some 'dipping oil' in a Williams-Sonoma store and it was good; then I looked at the price: Yeek! For about a cup-cup and a quarter of olive oil and some spices, in a fancy bottle, fifteen bucks. So I chopped up some garlic and toasted it under the broiler, same for some parmesan, then drop them in a bottle. Add in some rosemary, thyme and a little pepper, then fill with oil, shake it up and let it sit a few days. I use the stuff for cooking as well.

I should note that a friend gave me two bottles of hard cider a friend brewed. I just finished one of them; I'ave had to re-type a number of words. But it does seem blogging while somewhat inebriated has its good points...

1 comment:

tom said...

I've fount this entertaining in my cheese-bread recipes in place of normal cooking oil sometimes.

Sorta spendy but it has a nice effect if you're in the mood for it.

No affiliation with source or manu. Just happen to like sticking it in my cheese bread.

I just did a homemade apple cider vinegar that's starting to get there but I couldn't give a recipe as I'm unsure of the final outcome until the lactobacillus stop or are pasteurized.

Smells and tastes pretty good so far. I'm pancreatically challenged in drinking any of my old cider recipes. Would be medically unwise, but I used to find white labs champagne yeast and raw cider from the ag college with some honey added would do about 18% and make for interesting blogging.