Bread may be one of my favorite things on the planet. Right after chocolate. I would survive just fine on a deserted island if I had freshly baked bread and some form of chocolate (besides white chocolate – not my favorite). Every time I read about one of those exclusion diets that disallows you from ever having carbs or chocolate I want to cry. I could never, ever do that. What is your all-time favorite food that you could never give up?
This focaccia recipe is fantastic, just like the bread you get at a restaurant. Rosemary just happens to be my favorite herb so to me, this bread is perfect. Just looking at the picture is making me sad my loaf is gone.
Taste: Earthy and piney yet rich and salty. Be sure to use a good olive oil as this bread is soaked with it!
Texture: The best part of focaccia – it’s slathered with olive oil before baked so its slightly crispy on the outsides and fluffy inside.
Ease: Surprisingly easy. Like any homemade bread, it just takes some time (non-active).
Appearance: Rustic, I love the specks of green rosemary.
Pros: One of my favorite breads ever. It even tastes good the next day after being reheated in the oven.
Cons: None except that it’s not whole wheat. I’m skeptical of whole-wheat focaccia.
Would I make this again? Yes.
How to make Rosemary Focaccia
Yield: One 13-inch round bread
1 (12-16 ounce) russet potato
2 1/2 cups (or more) bread flour
4 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Prick the potato several times with a fork. Microwave on high until tender, turning once, for about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly then cut potato in half. Scoop flesh into a small bowl and mash well. Measure 2/3 packed cup of potato. Save remaining potato for another use or discard.
In the bowl of a food processor combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until rosemary is chopped, about 1 minute. Add potato and blend, using about 25 on/off pulses. Combine 1 cup warm water and sugar in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Sprinkle yeast over water. Let sit for about 5 minutes, or until foamy. Stir 3 tablespoons of the oil into yeast mixture. With food processor running, pour water mixture into flour mixture through feed chute. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough feels silky and looks smooth, sprinkling with more flour if necessary, about 1 minute. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Brush a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch dough down and knead for 30 seconds on a lightly floured work surface. Stretch or pat dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer round to oiled baking sheet and use your fingers to dimple dough all over. Sprinkle with sea salt and remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary. Let rise until just puffy, about 20 minutes.
Bake focaccia until golden, about 18 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To reheat later, bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit Cookbook
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