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how to make focaccia breadWe are just a little over two weeks away from Thanksgiving.  Fall is just moving along and pretty soon it’s going to bump right into Christmas.

It has a way of doing that.

I’ve continued to work on my daily list making as I mentioned here.

I’m amazed at how something so simple can keep me on track.  I think it’s the act of crossing something off that list that works for me.

Speaking of lists, I’ve begun to work on a Christmas list for the boys.  I have an incredibly hard time sticking to that list and staying focused.

On the one hand I love having them come downstairs and seeing the expressions on their faces.  That is pure joy for me and my husband.

But on the other hand, there isn’t one single thing that they need (they’re all wants) and with all the fuss over presents, wrapping and Christmas stockings the actual message of the day and the season is completely lost.

I really struggle with this.  Anyone else?

I stumbled across this post from Apartment Therapy, which describes giving just four gifts (want, need, wear and read).  Maybe this is just what we need to do this year.  A new gift-giving tradition for our little family.

I think I’d probably have to add in a fifth category, which is “eat.”  Maybe homemade treats, like granola or cookies.

I think it’s time to get to today’s rosemary focaccia bread recipe, but I may share a little more on plans for Christmas gifting later on.

focaccia bread dough

I did not take any photos as I was mixing the dough in my stand mixer, but wanted to share a couple images of the finished dough before I turned it into the greased bowl for the first rise.

how to make focaccia bread Isn’t she beautiful?

making focaccia bread

After the first rise, it’s time to press the focaccia bread dough into the prepared baking sheet.  try to press and work the dough into the corners so that the dough covers the entire baking sheet.  Brush lightly with olive oil.

sprinkle focaccia dough with rosemary

Sprinkle the dough with the remaining 1 tbsp of chopped rosemary and about a 1/4 tsp of sea salt.  You can top your dough with additional toppings at this point as well (olives, different types of cheeses, and sliced garlic to name just a few). Then into the oven for 30 minutes until it is light golden brown.

rosemary focaccia bread

 

Carefully transfer the baked focaccia bread to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature and maybe try it with this or this.

Here are some additional ideas for topping your focaccia bread before it goes into the oven:

Focaccia Bread Toppings:  Pesto, different types of cheeses (chevre, Parmagiano-Reggiano, feta); fresh basil or thyme; olives or a tapenade; roasted garlic or thinly sliced garlic; sun-dried tomatoes or thinly sliced Roma tomatoes; sliced heirloom tomatoes (in season).

Well, you get the idea.  The combination of toppings are endless.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing onto the dough

2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped and divided

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 package quick-acting yeast

2 cups warm water (120 degrees)

ground cornmeal

Method

Mix 2 cups of flour, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, 1/2 tsp sea salt, white pepper and yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Add the warm water and beat on low speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently.  Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, continuing to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Stir in enough remaining flour 1 cup at a time to make the dough easy to handle.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into flour to coat.  Knead your dough for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.  Spray a large bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the kneaded dough into the prepared bowl and turn it greased side up.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 1/2 hours).

Spray a baking sheet lightly with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.  Punch down dough and press into pan.  This will take a little time to get the dough evenly distributed in the pan and into the corners.  Cover with kitchen towel and let rise about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush dough lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp of rosemary and the remaining sea salt.  Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  

Yield: depending on the size the bread is cut into, it should yield a minimum of 16 pieces

Allison

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