One of my favorite bread recipes is foccaccia from the California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook. Let me back up and say, I don’t love making bread. There’s just too many elements to mess up. Temperatures are important, salt not touching yeast is key, over-kneading is a no-no. Ahhhh, the rules. They are just too overwhelming. For whatever reason, this bread recipe has worked for me. I’ve made it over and over the last 10 years since I bought the cookbook and I haven’t ever had a flop. Knock on wood.
The bread is delicious on its own, but goes into eye-rolling amazing when it’s paired with checca. The simple mixture of tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil is perfection. Especially when the tomatoes are garden fresh.
Here’s the bread all kneaded and rolled out. Just so you know how it should look. I used a mixture of white and wheat flour on this batch, so the color is a little darker. All white flour works great too!
Add a few herbs and onions and this is what you get…
Foccaccia Bread: (slightly adapted from CPK cookbook)
2 t. active dry yeast
1/2 c. lukewarm water
3 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 T. honey
2 t. salt
1/2 c. cold water
2 T. olive oil
Dissolve yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Put a well in the middle and pour in the liquids. Use a wooden spoon to combine until it forms a smooth ball. Knead the ball on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Lightly oil the ball and place into a greased bowl to rise. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm area until it doubles in size (about 2 hours). Punch down the dough and roll it into an oval shape on a greased pan. Lightly brush with olive oil and add sliced onion and dried rosemary and thyme. Add coarse salt to taste. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 min or until golden brown.
I don’t use an exact recipe for this one…I just cut up a few tomatoes into smaller chunks. Chiffonade a few leaves of basil and add that in. Here’s a tip…roll up a few leaves, the cut thin slices through the roll. Makes it easy! Olive oil, minced garlic and salt to taste all go in. Stir it up and let it sit for about 30 minute before you serve it.
In other news…I just wrote a blog post about taking better pictures of your kids! A few easy tips with examples! Go check it out on Little Skye Blog!!