Sunday, October 4, 2009

Herb Focaccia

This is another recipe from the Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, only modified so there's no hand-kneading. Some days I just like to let the Kitchen-Aid take care of it.

Herb Focaccia

2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
various dried herbs (I used freshly dried oregano and rosemary from the garden)

Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl, stirring until yeast is dissolved. set aside for 5 minutes.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour yeast mixture into well and beat gently until incorporated into flour. Remove bowl from mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.

Punch down dough. Replace bowl in mixer and beat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk - 1-2 hours. Punch down dough. Replace in mixing bowl and gently beat in olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs.

Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn dough out onto baking sheet and knead out to corners of the sheet until about 1/4" thick. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in bulk - about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick the surface with a fork and sprinkle with salt and pepper and more herbs. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 375. Bake another 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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