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Category Archives: Baking

Comfort Concluded: Sixty-Minute Rolls

I will conclude my week of rallying for comfort food with a recipe for homemade yeast dinner rolls that can be prepared in an hour. It is, of course, more convenient to go with the dough boy, but if you own a stand mixer these are pretty easy to put together even after a work day, since the prep is broken down into 15 minute increments and you can do other things while these are rising and baking. Tonight I had pea soup in the slow cooker, and made these during the last hour of the soup’s cooking time. These could probably also be prepared the night before as far as the final rise, refrigerated, and brought to room temperature for baking while the oven preheats.

Sixty-Minute Rolls

(from “The KitchenAid Refurbished Stand Mixer Use and Care Book”)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • Combine milk, water and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm (120-130 degrees); butter does not need to melt.
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    Place 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 5 seconds. Gradually add warm liquids to flour mixture, about 30 seconds. Mix 1 minute longer.

    Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

    Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, 15 minutes. (Note: at this point, I begin preheating my oven to 425).

    Turn dough onto floured board. Shape as desired. Cover, let rise in slightly warm oven for 15 minutes. (Note: by this point I have already cranked my oven up to 425, so I place my pans atop the stove for the second rise and they are warmed by the heat from beneath). Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

    You can do a number of different things with this dough. The recipe makes 2 dozen dinner rolls, which is more than we need, so I often make 12 rolls and then shape the remaining dough into 4-6 larger rolls for sandwiches. These may take a little more time to bake than the rolls; they are done when they start to brown on the top and feel hollow if you flip one over and “knock” on it.

    In preparing the dinner rolls, if I am really in a rush, I just divide the dough into twelve balls and bake them free-form on a baking sheet or in muffin tins. If I have more time, I divide them into strips and roll them into curls, or place them in tins and cut them with kitchen scissors in half and then in quarters to make cloverleafs. Both rolls and sandwich buns are good brushed with a little egg white right before baking, and, if you are feeling fancy, a sprinkling of poppy or sesame seeds is lovely.

    Brioche

    If you want to make this completely from scratch, you’ll need to make some Brioche. In bakeries, this rich, buttery, egg-y bread is often sold as rolls, which are delicious but not as useful to me as loaves.

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    In loaf form, Brioche makes great toast and sandwiches; I am particularly fond of it spread with a bit of sweet butter and some marmalade. If you have any left, it also makes french toast to die for.

    I use James Beard’s recipe from Beard on Bread, although I use a stand mixer for the kneading.

    Brioche Bread

    1. 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast
    2. 2 tablespoons sugar
    3. 1/2 cup warm water (100-115 degrees, approximately)
    4. 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
    5. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    6. 4 cups all-purpose flour
    7. 4 eggs
    8. 1 egg yolk mixed with 1/4 cup evaporated milk or light cream

    Combine yeast, sugar and warm water, and allow to proof. Mix the melted butter and salt. In a large bowl (the stand mixer bowl, if you are using one) combine the flour, eggs, melted butter and yeast mixture. Mix until smooth, using either a spoon or your mixer. (This will be a sticky-ish dough). Place in a buttered bowl, turning to butter all surfaces, cover and set in a warm, draft-free place until light and doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape into two loaves. Fit into buttered 8x4x2 loaf pans and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Brush the yolks with the egg yolk-milk wash. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, until the loaves are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with the knuckles. Cool on a rack.

    Reject Pantry Day 4: Oatmeal Cranberry Squares

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    Today is day four of the Reject Pantry Project, and I went for the can of whole cranberry sauce. I found a recipe for Oatmeal Cranberry Squares on Cooks.com. They are very easy to make, and while I found them right on the edge of cloyingly sweet, everyone else liked them. Bottom line: I used up a WHOLE Reject Pantry Item, and I made something that tasted pretty good. I might be inclined to leave out the pineapple and/or add some orange zest to the filling mixture next time, for a little more complexity.

    OATMEAL CRANBERRY SQUARES

    (from Cooks.com)

    FILLING:

    1 (#1) can whole cranberry sauce
    1/2 c. crushed pineapple, drained
    1/4 tsp. salt

    Combine all ingredients for filling.

    TOPPING:

    1 1/2 c. quick oatmeal
    1 1/2 c. flour
    1 c. brown sugar, packed
    3/4 c. butter
    1/4 tsp. soda
    1/8 tsp. salt

    Crumble remaining ingredients. Place half of crumbs in an 8 x 10 (or similar size) greased pan. Spread with filling and pat on remaining crumbs. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool and cut into bars.

    Reject Pantry Day 1: A Banana Bread Revelation

    Yesterday, I vowed to use five ingredients languishing in my pantry, or to die trying. Today, since I had some very ripe bananas, I decided to make banana bread. I made two subsequent decisions that led to the most flavorful, tender example of banana bread I have ever personally tasted. First, I decided to try Mark Bittman’s banana bread recipe from How to Cook Everything. Second, I decided to start my Pantry Reject Challenge by using my Manischewitz Cake Meal instead of regular flour called for in the recipe.

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    This banana bread is, seriously, to die for. It is infinitely better than what I have made using my previously posted recipe. It is tender, flavorful, moist, with a slightly crisp crust, and has a nice complexity from the unsweetened coconut and the nuts. I also like it better with butter instead of oil. The only hitch is that I will have to make it again with regular flour instead of the Cake Meal to see if that made a big difference in the fabulousness of the results.

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    In the meantime, here’s the recipe, stolen in its unaltered entirety from Mr. Bittman:

    Banana Bread

    Makes 1 Loaf

    Time: About 1 hour

    1. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus some for greasing the pan
    2. 1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) all-purpose flour (this is where I substituted the Cake Meal, although it isn’t a one-to-one correspondence; 5/8 cup of Cake Meal = 1 cup all-purpose flour)
    3. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    4. 1 teaspoon salt
    5. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    6. 3/4 cup sugar
    7. 2 eggs
    8. 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
    9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    10. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    11. 1/2 grated dried unsweetened coconut (note that its unsweetened!)
    1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
    2. Mix together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter and beat in the eggs and bananas. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; do not mix more than necessary. Gently stir in the vanilla, nuts and coconut.
    3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread will come out fairly clean when it is done, but because of the bananas this bread will remain moister than most. Do not overcook. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. To store, wrap in waxed paper.

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    Spelt, Correctly

    I cannot resist anything new at the Farmer’s Market. I have to have the tiny baby eggplants, the “banana” potatoes, the garlic scapes, the handmade sausage with fennel…. I don’t always know what I’m going to do with the things I buy, but I always enjoy the learning process. This week I bought spelt flour from a man who grows and mills grains at a farm about 20 miles from here. He sold a variety of products including corn meal, spelt flour, multigrain flour, something called Hopi Blue and Black Aztec corn flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat, soy beans, and had samples of several flours made into cakes or breads. I tried the Spelt Flour Shortcake, and was intrigued by both the flavor and the health claims – it seemed that consuming spelt could do everything from boosting immunity to improving Type II diabetes and clogged arteries. I bit, and I bought.

    So today, armed with my little sheet of recipes, I baked up some of the shortbread. It had a sort of gluey batter, and didn’t look very prepossessing in the pan after it was done,

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    but its really quite good. I don’t think I’d serve it as shortcake, but it has the flavor and texture of a more sweet, less moist, brown bread. It has a very soft, slightly crumbly texture not at all like the robust texture of many whole grain baked goods. I happen to love that dense, earthy, heartiness, but many folks do not.
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    I also did quite a lot of research and discovered that spelt is an ancient grain, (one of the original seven mentioned in the Bible), that it really does have many health-giving properties, and that its the same as Italian Farro which I adore and have never seen outside of Italy. I also read that spelt is not easy to bake with, due to its “fragile gluten content,” which tempered my enthusiasm for baking a regular loaf of savory bread using spelt flour.

    Then I found this, which reassured me completely. I will try a loaf following June’s recipe (as soon as I translate the quantities), and I hope to have a loaf as lovely as the one she produced. I really do want to introduce spelt into my regular bread-baking rotation, particularly because its an “in” to get my family to eat whole grain bread that is quite a bit softer and sweeter than regular wheat bread (which they refuse to eat).

    Try some spelt, whether its in June’s bread recipe, or the recipe I’ve included in the post. Let me know if you have any great spelt recipes; I’ll be looking for more, as well.

    Spelt Flour Shortcake

    (Adapted from a recipe provided by Jennings Brothers Stone Ground Grains)

    1. 2 1/4 cup spelt flour
    2. 1/4 cup white flour
    3. 1/4 cup oil
    4. 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk (I used the smaller quantity)
    5. 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (I used the larger quantity)
    6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    8. 1 egg
    9. 1 tsp. vanilla (I used vanilla paste)
    10. a little honey (I added about 1 tablespoon)

    Mix all together and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

    (Two Notes:

    1. The recipe didn’t indicate what size pan to use, and it looked to me like the amount of batter was best suited to an 8 or 9 inch square pan, which is what I used. In a pan that size, it actually took closer to 40 minutes before the cake was cooked through; the cake’s volume increased quite a lot during cooking. I think this is better suited to a 9×13 pan, although you’ll have to spread the batter in a thin layer across the bottom of the pan.
    2. There is no direction to mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine them, and I think this turned out fine. I may try a more conventional mixing method next time, just for grins).

    Anyone Can Bake, Too

    Yesterday, I posted my list of pantry and refrigerator staples, and some simple meals that could be made using mainly those ingredients. I have a separate list of ingredients that should be kept in the house for baking, which overlaps the list of basic staples a tiny bit. If you have all of these things, you will be able to bake (from scratch) a variety of things including cookies, brownies, cakes, pancakes and biscuits. Here’s what you need:

    1. Butter (on regular staples list)
    2. Eggs (on regular staples list)
    3. White Sugar (on regular staples list)
    4. Brown Sugar
    5. All-Purpose Flour
    6. Self-Rising Flour (This is really just flour with some baking powder in it, but its convenient for scratch-cooking in a hurry)
    7. Baking Soda
    8. Baking Powder
    9. Quick Oats (not the kind in tiny packets; the kind in the cardboard canister)
    10. Vanilla Extract
    11. Cinnamon
    12. Cocoa Powder
    13. Chocolate Chips and/or baking chocolate
    14. Peanut Butter
    15. Cooking Oil (I use Canola)

    Here are six things you can make with just these ingredients; the additional items you would need to buy are in green:

    Quick Biscuits

    If you buy a pint of heavy cream, you can make these biscuits, which are tender and fluffy and impressive.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I use the recipe from the “Toll House” package, and its a great place to start, especially since you will have every single ingredient you need. (Unless you want nuts in your cookies, in which case you’ll need to buy yourself some nuts).

    Pancakes

    (Adapted from the Martha White Self-Rising Flour Package)

    1. 2 eggs
    2. 1 cup milk
    3. 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
    4. 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
    5. Blueberries, bananas, strawberries, chocolate chips, or other exotic flourishes (optional)

    In medium bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and oil or butter, and mix well with a whisk or fork. Add all remaining ingredients (except fruit and chocolate chips) and stir just until large lumps disappear. (You really want to avoid over-beating or you’ll have tough pancakes. The little lumps are desirable).

    Heat griddle or large skillet to medium-high heat. Grease lightly with oil. (I use cooking spray, my husband uses butter, Canola is fine, too). Griddle is ready when small drops of of water sizzle and disappear almost immediately.

    For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. If you are adding fruit or chocolate chips, this is the time to sprinkle them lightly over the surface of the pancakes. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until air bubbles begin to break on surface. Turn, and cook 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.

    “Before Cookies”

    You can now make these, although you may not have quite as many additions as you will after you’ve been baking for a while. For now, you can just add some of your chocolate chips or some chunks of your baking chocolate.

    Brownies

    I use a standard one-bowl brownie recipe like this one, although I try to use the best chocolate I can find (I like both Valrhona and Scharffen Barger). Sometimes, though, I just use regular old Baker’s or Nestle’s and the brownies are perfectly delicious.

    No-Bake Cookies

    Okay; this is kind of cheating because, well, they’re “no-bakes,” but they belong in this general category of food, and now you have everything necessary to make them if you buy some milk. (And yes, the skim you already have in the refrigerator is perfectly fine for this). The recipe is here.

    You can, of course, bake all kinds of other things using mainly these ingredients, but this is a start. You can dazzle those nearest and dearest to you by whipping up a batch of hot biscuits to go with soup, you can get up early on Sunday morning and make everybody love you (even more) by making pancakes, or you can take care of a major chocolate jones without leaving home.

    “Before” Cookies

    These are my go-to cookies when I am not baking because I am obsessed with making a recipe I have just come across in a book or magazine. They are reasonably attractive, very yummy, pretty portable, and decidedly un-fussy to make. They also have the advantage of helping to clean out the dribs and drabs of things, like the half a bag of white chocolate chips left over from another recipe, or the handful of nuts left in a jar in the pantry.

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    The ironic thing is that I originally found the recipe for these cookies, well, the recipe that grew into these cookies, in a “before and after” magazine where classic recipes were de-fatted, un-cholesteroled, and generally made more healthy. There, on page 79, was the evil “before” recipe with its 3/4 cups of shortening and 2 eggs, and next to it was the virtuous “after” made with less butter, sugar, and only egg whites. I made the “after” version once, feeling my arteries becoming more patent as I nibbled, and found the result to be perfectly fine.

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    The next time I came across the recipe, I was baking for a house full of 20-something college men, most of whom were athletes and could consume thousands of calories without gaining an ounce. I made the “before” cookies, and they were wonderful. The next time I baked for them, I made the same cookies, but as an experiment (since the cookies already contained peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chips) I threw in all of the odds and ends of nuts, chips, and other baking additions that I had in the house. The cookies were elevated from wonderful to something approaching celestial. The college guys loved them, my husband loved them, my son and his friends loved them, and I loved them so much that I had to put them in a plastic bag in my husband’s car so that I wasn’t home alone with them all day. There is a reason that I originally purchased the collection of “lightened” recipes.

    Here is my version of the cookies, adapted from Taste of Home’s “Recipe Makeovers & Other Light Favorites:”

    “Before” Cookies

    1. 3/4 cup butter (I have used shortening, but vastly prefer the taste with butter)
    2. 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
    3. 1 cup sugar
    4. 2 eggs
    5. 1 cup peanut butter (Crunchy or creamy)
    6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    7. 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    8. 1 cup quick-cooking oats
    9. 2 teaspoons baking soda
    10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
    11. 1 cup chips of your choice – I’ve used chocolate, butterscotch, milk chocolate, peanut butter, white chocolate, and various combinations of the above but I think the mint chocolate chips would be yucky with the peanut butter.
    12. 1/2 – 1 cup any kind of nuts – today I used the end of a bag of macadamias and a hand full of cashews (optional)
    13. 1/2 cup coconut (optional)

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to moist ingredients, then add chips (and nuts and coconut, if desired). Drop by the generous tablespoon-ful onto greased baking sheets (I use a silicone baking sheet) and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Notes: I pretty much always double this recipe, and give some away; it doubles beautifully. I’m also sure that there is an upper limit to how many chips, nuts, etc. can be added before the cookies become too dry and/or chunky, but I haven’t found it yet.


    A Perfect Day for Banana Bread! (With Apologies to J.D. Salinger)

    Posted on

    So we were trapped in the house most of the day, waiting for the contractor to come and cut a hole in the living room ceiling to determine the cause of the mold blossoming there. (Its bad, and not, as my father would say, “dinner table conversation”). The bananas were looking reproachfully at me in the kitchen as they slowly turned brown and spotty, never to be cut up and frozen for smoothies despite my best intentions.

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    So, I made banana bread using the ONE recipe from the 1997 edition of “The Joy of Cooking” that I actually use. In general, I dislike that particular incarnation of “Joy,” which seems to be trying to be so many things (international cookbook, diet cookbook, basics cookbook) that it sacrifices much of its earlier identity as an honest-to-goodness Kitchen Bible. Of course, I don’t really follow the recipe, because I never do, but I do find that there is something in the mixing method (creaming butter and sugar, adding dry ingredients and then adding eggs) that makes for a very tender loaf, as promised. Here is my version, which relies on “Joy”‘s basic contours but also uses up things you may have in your kitchen. By the way, I tripled this recipe today and it turned out beautifully. Next time, I’m going to make this recipe with macadamia nuts, coconut and drained, canned pineapple.

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    Annie’s Over-the-Top Banana Bread

    1. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    2. 3/4 teaspoon salt
    3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    4. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    5. 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    6. 2/3 cup sugar
    7. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    8. 1 cup mashed,very ripe bananas (about 2)
    9. 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I toasted mine)
    10. 1/2 cup baking coconut
    11. 1/2-1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on your chocolate requirement)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.

    Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

    In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar 2-3 minutes on high speed until lightened in color and texture. Beat in the flour mixture until blended, then gradually beat in eggs. Fold in bananas, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips.

    Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. (Note: I have never had this bread bake completely in 60 minutes, so really do the toothpick test or you’ll have a mushy, uncooked center). Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

    Edited to add: In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that since I wrote this post, I have found a banana bread recipe that I like better. Check it out here.

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    Bagels, Baby!

    Posted on

    Remember how embarrassing it was in, say, the seventh grade when the object of your affections found out how you felt? Maybe the note that you passed to your best friend was diverted, and said object found out that you heart-ed him, and thought he was “really cute.” Perhaps you told a friend, who told a “trustworthy” friend who told everyone else in the seventh grade, including the apple of your eye.

    Eventually, most of us learn to play things a little closer to the vest, and to wait until we are reasonably sure we have a chance before we make big gestures. If I want to get to know the group of fellow moms standing outside at pickup time, I restrain myself from interrupting their conversation about why Betsy is traumatized by Mrs. Friend’s teaching methods in order to yell “I’m here now, and I have far more interesting things to say than the rest of you put together!” It simply isn’t done. If you want to get the guy, or hang with the cool kids, at 12 or 45, you have to act like you don’t care if they like you. Until they do, at least a little.

    I’m having a problem with that right now. There is a group of baking bloggers that call themselves “The Daring Bakers,” and once a month one of them sets a baking challenge and they must all attempt the recipe, and report back on the process and the finished product. I believe this group is by invitation only, and that it includes real ( gasp) pastry chefs and other professionals. I have no more business in their group than I have playing pickup basketball with Kobe Bryant, but I want to play with them in the worst way. There, I admitted it.

    So, although am not a Daring Baker, just a sort of pretty okay ordinary home baker, I wanted to see if I could do their last challenge, which was to make bagels. They used this recipe, and so did I. In a nutshell, you make dough, let it rise, shape it into bagels, let it rise again briefly, cook the bagels in simmering water for about six minutes, top as you choose, and bake.

    I did it, although there were tough moments along the way. I usually use my KitchenAid mixer for bread, but the Real Daring Bakers kneaded by hand, and so did I. Forever. Then, on the second rise, my bagels got so puffy again that their holes pretty much disappeared. It looked I’d fashioned several rows of pregnant bellies with XL belly buttons.

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    Nevertheless, I soldiered on. The recipe says that, when dropped into the simmering water bath the bagels should sink and then rise; mine floated gracefully on the top as soon as they hit water. It seemed like cheating to weight them with the collection of rocks and stones I keep on a shelf in the kitchen, so I took a deep breath and let them float. They were not pretty after their bath.

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    I made the three ways: plain, with sesame seeds and with coarse kosher salt. I baked them, and they came out looking, well, individualistic. That’s a nice euphemism for “funky.” They tasted great though, although it turned out that I had forgotten to add the salt called for in the recipe. We just salted our cream cheese a little, and were perfectly satisfied.

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    So, Daring Bakers: my bagels are lumpy. I forgot the salt. I am not worthy. If I keep trying, someday, maybe, I’ll be good enough to hang with the cool kids.

    Focaccia

    If I were a real chef, there is no doubt in my mind that I would specialize in Italian cuisine. Northern Italian, probably. I love Italy, Italians, Vespas, gelato, good olives, roasted chicken with rosemary, Italian wine…you get the picture.

    When I wake up feeling like I need a little Italy, I often make some focaccia. Although it can be tarted up quite a bit, focaccia is basically like pizza dough with some good olive oil and herbs, and maybe some hard cheese. Today I just used what I had in the house: Parmesan and dried Italian herbs, heavy on the Rosemary. With relatively few adornments it is great alongside salad or soup, and if you put lots of things on it (cheese, vegetables, meat) it can be a light meal on its own. Many people use it, in its simplest form, as sandwich bread.

    I would credit this recipe if I remembered where it came from, honest I would.

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    RECIPE: FOCACCIA

    1. 1 cup water
    2. 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional to brush on top
    3. 1 teaspoon salt
    4. 1 tablespoon sugar
    5. 3+ cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour will give you a more authentic texture)
    6. 1 packet quick rise dry yeast
    7. toppings of your choice: dried or fresh herbs, onions (I like mine sauteed first), peppers, grated hard cheese such as Parmesan, Romano, cooked sausage…

    I make this in my KitchenAid stand mixer. Combine yeast, sugar, salt and one cup of the flour in mixer bowl. In a small saucepan, combine water and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat oil and water until its warm enough to stick your finger in but just barely. Pour warm liquid into mixer bowl and mix with dough hook for about 4 minutes on a medium setting. Add remaining flour until mixture clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl – about 6 or 7 minutes. You can add more flour if it seems to remain very sticky, but add only a little at a time and watch for dough to reach the stage of clinging to the hook.

    Place dough in an oiled bowl, flipping so that both sides of dough ball are greased. Cover bowl and let rise until dough is about double in size, about an hour. Punch dough down, place on floured surface and shape into a ball. Flatten ball into a circle or an oval. (I do the flattening on a silicone baking sheet placed on top of a baking sheet). Turn the oven on to 375, cover the dough and let it rise again for 15-20 minutes.

    After the second rise, pierce dough lightly all over with a fork, and brush with as much olive oil as it takes to cover the surface liberally. Add the toppings you selected, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Viva Foccacia!

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