Monday, December 13, 2010
Make the Focaccia!
I'm going to go ahead and assume you're not like me. That you have a whirlwind of holiday parties to attend, a beautifully decorated house, profusions of gifts already purchased, wrapped and tucked under the tree and are simply relaxing by the fire sipping something decadent and doodling menu plans on your personalized stationery. Good for you. Clearly, all you need is an easy, impressive recipe to bring to your potluck parties, or add to your already high-end gourmet spread.
Of course if you are like me, and haven't started shopping, haven't heard even one carol that was not some crappy new-age elevator music rendition, are avoiding the only party you've been invited to, you probably need some carbohydrates to help you eat away Scrooge-y feeling burning inside your two-sizes too small grinchy heart.
Either way, this focaccia will make your season bright. Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial is an absolute whiz with breads and this one tempted me the moment I spied it on her blog. It did not disappoint. In fact, I made it Saturday and there is naught but a tiny corner left. I've altered her recipe only to account for the fact that I lack sea salt and bread flour and to give you the proportions of fillings I used. But feel free to experiment, I believe Celia would say that was the spirit of the thing in the first place! If you're going upscale you might want to use marinated artichokes and some kalamata olives. If you're eating away stress like me, seriously go with provolone and pepperoni - it's like a portable pizza. There are more delicious ideas for fillings on Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, so make sure to click the recipe link!
SERIOUSLY GOOD FOCACCIA
adapted from filled focaccia for a less impressive kitchen.
3 1/3 C flour (I used all-purpose, Celia says bread flour)
1 packet dried yeast
1 tsp table salt
1 1/3 C water
3 T + 1 t olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1/3 lb provolone chopped
1/2 C chopped turkey pepperoni
I absolutely would use more filling next time!
Combine flour, salt and yeast, then add liquids, mix. Then chop up all the goodies you plan on putting inside and add them. Blend gently. Then cover with wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. See? Sitting:
Knead gently. Do this in the bowl to keep stuff from flying off everywhere. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Pat out onto a normal sized cookie sheet covered in silpat or parchment. Let sit for 20 minutes again covered. At this point Celia recommends preheating your oven to maximum. My crappy but old school oven has a max well over 550F. I turned to 525F and smoke was coming out. Don't do that. 500 is about the best I can do with an intervention from a fan so that might have to be that.Poke holes in it with your fingers like so:
Lower the oven temperature to 425F and bake for 25 minutes. Celia advises rotating it once but I totally forgot and had no ill effects. Pretty no?