Mmmm…Bread!

Things have been a little crazy lately.  When my world feels upside down, I long for things that are familiar and comforting.  What fits the bill better than freshly baked bread? Next to the smell of coffee and fresh chocolate chip cookies, it is one of my favorite scents.  Not only is the smell and taste the stuff of dreams, but the act of making bread is remarkably satisfying.  I’ve been trying a few new recipes and this is a simple, yet decadent focaccia.  You need to plan ahead, but the hands-on time is minimal.  This recipe was adapted from https://lilluna.com/focaccia-bread/.  The wonderful thing is you can personalize it with different toppings to suit your taste.

Easy Focaccia Bread

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Refrigerating time: 8 hours

Ingredients:

            2 cups flour

            1 teaspoon salt

            1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast

            1 cup warm water

            3 Tablespoons olive oil

            ¼ – ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

            1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (you can substitute coarse kosher salt but use less)

Optional toppings: rosemary, fresh or roasted garlic, olives, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast.  Add the warm water, stir to form a soft and sticky dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.  The dough will rise during this time.
  2. After dough has chilled, gently shape dough into ball.  Keeping the dough in the bowl and using a fork in each hand, gather up the edges of dough furthest from you and lift up and over into center of bowl.  Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat process two more times; you want to deflate the dough while you form it into a rough ball (technique from Bon Appetit). Pour 1 Tablespoon olive oil in to the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan and spread it to cover the interior surfaces of the pan.  Transfer the ball of dough to the center of the pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours or until dough has expanded to nearly fill the cake pan. 
  3. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap from the pan.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dough, then press your fingertips down into the dough pushing to the bottom of the pan (get in there and play with your food).  Repeat until the entire surface of the dough is covered in deep dimples (what’s cuter than dimples?).  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and flaky sea salt (I used Maldon).
  4. Bake 22-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Let sit for a few minutes then remove from pan and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Yeast has been a hot commodity lately.  If you are not able to find yeast or just want a lighter alternative, I suggest trying two ingredient dough.  It can be used for a variety yummy treats, I have made cinnamon rolls, bagels and naan bread using this simple recipe as a base.    

Two Ingredient Dough

Prep time:  2 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

½ cup self-rising flour

½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients together and knead until it forms a ball.  If sticky, add a little more flour. 
  2. Dough is ready to use.  Check out https://www.cookitrealgood.com/two-ingredient-dough-recipes/ for recipes. 

Don’t have any self-rising flour?  Mix together 1 cup flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. 

I hope you have fun trying these recipes out.  Enjoy!

With love,

Debbie

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