Sunday, August 16, 2009

Parmesan Rosemary Focaccia

I made this bread to use as buns for the Italian-style turkey burgers Justin and I made for guests last night. It came out really well, and looked so lovely with the crispy Parmesan cheese on top and the bits of rosemary. I must say, I’m not much of a rosemary fan, but it adds so much to this focaccia and really completes the bread.

I got this recipe from a downloadable recipe book that Manna Harvest sent me. (I had been poking around their website and added items to my cart that I never ended up buying). I followed the recipe exactly, which is rare for me, but it didn’t look like it needed any improvement. For those of you who have made bread and think it’s too much of a process, or for those of you who want to make bread but feel intimidated by the process, this is a good bread to make.

Yes, it’s still a process, but the mixing and kneading part isn’t too hard. It uses simple ingredients and takes a couple of hours from start to finish (with only about 30 of those minutes being active time). Make a double batch and freeze some for later. You can slice it lengthwise to use as sandwich bread, add it as a side to make a meal out of salad, or just snack on it. So…go for it!

Parmesan Rosemary Bread
Makes 1 “tray”

1 ½ cups unbleached bread flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 package instant yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1) In a large bowl, stir together flours and sea salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Sprinkle sugar and yeast into the well. Carefully pour the warm water into the well (I let the tap water get really hot and use that). Let stand until yeast begins to act, about 5 minutes (meaning a froth-like film will appear on top of the water).

2) Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into well. With a wooden spoon, stir the mixture in the center of the bowl. Gradually widen the circle of stirring to take in all of the flour at the sides of the well. Turn out on a floured surface and knead just until smooth.

3) Pour ½ teaspoon of oil into clean large bowl. Place dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes (I turn the oven on warm when I start making the dough, then turn it off right before I put it in the oven to rise).

4) Punch the dough down. Use 1 teaspoon olive oil to coat a smallish baking sheet and place the dough on the sheet. Gently press the dough out to about ½ inch thickness in order to cover the entire sheet, including corners. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top.

5) Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to dimple the dough at 1 ½ inch intervals. Sprinkle with rosemary and parmesan. Place in oven in the middle (it should still be warm from the previous rise). Let rise until doubled, 20-25 minutes. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees (without removing the bread). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Let cool (I kept the bread on the sheet, but balanced it on top of an overturned muffin pan to air the bottom of the sheet).

1 comment:

Katie Jesenovec said...

My last name is also Kuk and its so great to see someone who loves to cook with such a fitting last name.