I hear "foccacia" (whichever way you pronounce it), and I think "Macaroni Grill." You know that yummy rosemary-infused manna they keep you loaded up on before the food comes? The pillowy mounds you dip in herbed olive oil? Yeah, I think we're on the same wavelength.
Well, this is better. My brother Dave is a way gourmet chef. We all know I like to bake. But Dave, he likes to COOK. He concocts things like Moroccan lamb roast and grilled-pepper-and-fancy-cheese-I've-never-heard-of salad with fifteen-ingredient-vinaigrette. He creates panini sandwiches better than anything you could imagine. I want to cry thinking how far away he - and his kitchen - are from me (currently in England.)
So once in awhile Dave sends a recipe my way, either something he has made, or something he found in a book or website that he wants me to make. This foccacia was the former; he made it with some amazing middle eastern dish he served company. I was afraid for awhile to try it, #1 because what if I didn't do it justice, and #2 I didn't have a 10-inch pan. I made it in a 9-inch and it was just deep. And I didn't adjust the sprinkled salt for the decreased surface area like I should have, but other than that this bread was YUUUUUUUMMMY. It could go with almost anything, especially middle eastern or Italian. Or you could top it or dip it and have it for the main course. Once again, we all owe Dave a big THANK YOU.
Makes 1 round 10-inch loaf
1 package active dry yeast
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (optional)
1) Dissolve the yeast in .5 cup warm water. Let stand from 10 minutes. Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil. Mix in the flour and add more water to make a dough.
2) Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover with a cloth, and allow to rise in a warm place for 2-2.5 hours, until the dough has doubled in bulk.
3) Punch down the dough and knead again for a few minutes. Press into an oiled 10-inch tart or pie pan and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400.
4) Poke the dough all over with your fingers to make little dimples in the surface. Pour the remaining olive oil over the dough, brushing it out to the edges. Sprinkle with the sea salt and rosemary if using.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pale gold in color. Carefully remove from the pan (a plastic knife is handy here) and let cool on a rack. Best eaten still warm, but also freezes well.Recipe from David Younce