On Sunday, despite the insane heat and our decision to turn off the AC in our house for a few days (not quite sure why, except for the fact that the noise was starting to drive both of us a little bit batty!), I had a major cooking day.
I started out in the morning with some zucchini cookies (I am once again swimming in zucchini!), then moved on to double cornbread, then there was some freezing of green beans and corn, and finally....some fresh herbed foccacia. Man do I love me some focaccia. I think I first fell in love with it when I was in college, and have pretty much been making it sporadically ever since. And every time I pull a loaf (is it a loaf? What do you call that?) out of the oven, I wonder why it's been so long since I last made it. Especially in the summer when you can season it with fresh herbs straight out of the garden.
Last week, I saw Shari's cinnamon sugar version and I knew I had to add focaccia to my weekend list. And so I did (though now my mouth is watering for cinnamon sugar and I'm wondering why I didn't make that one...). I stepped out into the garden and picked some fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Since I waited until it cooled off in the evening to turn the oven on, My first taste of this batch was the next morning, topped off with a fried egg. And it was delicious.
This recipe is the one I've used for years and I think I cut it out of an old issue of Cooking Light or Vegetarian Times. It's pretty basic, and very very delicious. Do you have a favorite focaccia recipe? I'd love to try a new one (especially a sweet one...).
Basic Herbed Focaccia
(adapted from Cooking Light or Vegetarian Times)
1 tsp honey
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp mixed chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, whatever you like)
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl mixed chopped fresh herbs
1/2 tsp coarse salt
To prepare sponge: dissolve honey and yeast in warm water in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently add 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 2 tbl olive oil and stir until well combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.
To prepare dough: gently add 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, along with salt and chopped herbs and stir well. Mix for 5-6 minutes until dough is elastic. Cover and let rise for another hour or hour and a half in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 400F. Transfer dough to an oiled 15"x10" baking pan, or cookie sheet if you want a free form loaf. Brush dough with olive oil and top with more chopped herbs and coarse salt. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes. Bake for about 25 minutes, until top is slightly browned. Enjoy!