Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rosemary Onion Focaccia Bread

Nhan gets all the credit for this beautiful loaf of focaccia bread. It has just the right amount of herbs to give it a beautiful scent and delicate flavor. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a wonderful accompaniment. What's most impressive is this was his first time baking bread! Hooray! The boy is now the baker.... well, for a day at least. 

Rosemary Onion Focaccia Bread

Prep Time: 3.5 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 cups cold water
zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp chopped rosemary
3 tbsp chopped onions
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary for garnish
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping

1. In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast, and honey. Leave in bowl to proof for about 10 minutes until foamy. I like to use plastic or ceramic bowls for the best proof rather than stainless steel--something about the reaction between metal and yeast, decreasing the proofing ability. 
2. Next add cold water, lemon zest, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, rosemary, and onions and mix. 
3. Add flour slowly to wet mixture and stir until combined. 
4. This next step is easiest if you have a stand mixer, but if you don't, no worries, hand kneading will work too. Knead dough (or using your dough hook turn mixer to speed 2 for 10 minutes until a sticky ball of dough is formed and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
5. Oil bowl. Replace dough and cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm area to rise for at least 1 hour. 
6. Next, divide dough into 2 loaves (9 inch pans) or in my case, 1 9 inch pan and 4 small ramekins. Punch dough down and cover with a damp paper towel. Let rise for an additional 2 hours. 
7. Poke a few holes in the dough in a circular design and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a 1/4 tsp chopped rosemary over each loaf
8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until golden. 
9. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.
10. Serve warm with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

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