Monday, August 5, 2013

Focaccia To Melt A Man In His Boots

As if he isn't busy enough. About a month and a half ago we had a little barbeque planned and the day of Tyson went to replace a rotten board underneath some porch windows... and found that all the boards it was nailed to were rotten. Welcome to the ongoing house project.

Every week I sit down to make the menu and ask him "Any meal requests?" He replies "Umm... Nah." Not very helpful. But last week he says "Focaccia!". So the night that he was finishing his porch project I had focaccia in the oven, filling the house with that herb/garlic smell. He walks through the kitchen with some tool or other, takes a deep breath and exclaims "MMM! That's enough to make a man melt in his boots!"
Well, that's almost enough to make me give up the cauliflower fritters with quinoa and make him meatloaf and chocolate pudding four nights a week if that's what he wants. I told him this. He screwed up his face and said. "Oh. That probably wouldn't be a good. But thanks for the thought!"

Dad's Helpers

Herb and Garlic Focaccia
Adapted from Staff Meals by David Waltuck
for the bread
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus some to oil the bowl
3/4 tsp course salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus some extra for the counter
for the topping
1 tsp dried rosemary
6 fresh sage leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves peeled garlic
3/4 cup olive oil
Course salt to taste and fresh black pepper
mix up your dough four hours ahead
sprinkle yeast on water in a large bowl. stir in sugar and let sit for a couple minutes, until it's a little bubbly looking. stir in the oil and salt and 1 cup of flour. Gradually stir in the rest of the four cups. The dough will be soft but workable. Pour onto a floured counter and knead about ten minutes, or knead in the bowl.
Clean your bowl and rub inside with oil. put dough back in a cover with a clean towel. let sit 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
Punch it down and let it double again, about 1 1/4 hours.
(Rising time is not a precise science. If you need to stretch it out a bit to make it bit your dinner time, don't worry.)
prepare topping
mix herbs and garlic with oil and whir in a blender until sage and garlic are roughly chopped. let sit.
preheat oven to 425. generously oil a 15 x 12 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan.
press the dough into the pan, cover with a towel and let rise until you can poke it and it doesn't spring back, about 30 minutes.
using all your fingers, make dimples all over the surface of the dough. pour/spread your garlic/herb/oil mixture over the dough. sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
bake until the focaccia is golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes. serve hot or room temp.
Watch them melt in their boots!

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