Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Amazing Fragrant Bread - Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

You must prepare a "sponge" to ferment overnight before making this bread. Wonderfully fragrant. This bread disappears quick so I usually double this recipe and put one in the freezer.

4 to 4 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 tsp. rosemary
Kosher salt for topping.

Make ahead a "sponge". In a bowl combine 1/2 c. of the flour, the 1/2 c.warm water, and the yeast. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the "sponge" stand overnight at room temperature to ferment.

The next day, gradually stir in the 1 c. warm water, rosemary, 2 tsp. Kosher salt and just enough of the flour to make the dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead in the rest of the dough. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover and rise for 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured parchment paper. Place an extra large bowl upside down over the dough to cover it. Let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 475. Put in baking stone. Shape the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter by pulling and pressing with your fingertips. Not too rough or it will deflate. With your fingertips, make 1/2 inch-deep indentations every 2 inches in dough. Brush dough with olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Slide the baking sheet onto the hot stone (if you don't have a stone, put on unheated baking sheet. If you don't have parchment paper, grease the baking sheet). Bake for 15 minutes.

Wonderful served warm with olive oil with browned garlic and black pepper added. My family adores panini sandwiches made from this bread sliced. Brush a little olive oil on the outside of the sandwhich bread prior to putting in sandwich press or George Foreman Grill.

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