What I should be doing... (1) Studying for my organic chemistry exam tomorrow, (2) laundry, (3) my Italian homework, (4) eating copious amounts of chocolate and ice cream. What I should not be doing... (1) baking, (2) blogging, (3) watching Instant Netflix, (4) Facebook, (5) eating copious amounts of chocolate and ice cream.
So far I'm 1-5. Yeah, it's just one of those days.
The Psych major in me is a firm believer that everyone needs little breaks in the middle of studying or doing some kind of task. It's cathartic.
So, to live up to my "mantra", I bake bread or tasty treats for my friends and family. Last week I baked this focaccia along with a tasty minestrone soup (recipe soon!). It was so incredibly simple, I could hardly believe it.
You may remember me mentioning my fear of yeast breads; but truly, they aren't hard, just a bit time consuming.
This bread was lovely. Soft in the middle with a chewy outer crust. The herbs were a great addition also. They really bumped up the flavor.
I used an herbed olive oil that I got at a little specialty olive oil shop, which I think also contributed to the great flavor, but regular olive oil works just fine.
I did make one teeny mistake when I was preparing the bread though. The recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of olive oil + more for drizzling: about half of the 3T is to be drizzled in the pan, while the remainder of the 3 T is to be added to the bread dough while mixing. Additional olive oil is then drizzled on top.
I misread the directions and, instead, drizzled about 1.5 T in the pan and then drizzled the remaining 1.5 T to the top of the bread. Basically, I just forgot to add the oil to the dough. I don't really know how it would have turned out had I added the olive oil to the dough, but my bread was really good anyway. I'm providing the method for how Imade the bread, but there is also a link to King Arthur Flour, just in case you are curious.
This bread is great for sandwiches or to dip in soup. I can't wait to make it again and experiment with other toppings and mix-ins.
BUT, that will, of course, be after I study and do homework and launder my ever-growing pile of clothes.
No-Knead Focaccia (lightly adapted from King Arthur Flour)
Makes 1 Loaf
- 1 1/2 (12 oz.) cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons (1-1/4 oz.) olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/2 cups (14-3/2 oz.) All Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, optional
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, optional
- Herbs and salt to sprinkle on top, optional
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle about half of the olive oil in the pan and spread around.
- In a stand mixer combine the water, salt, flour, yeast, and herbs, if using. Mix on low for one minute. Dough will be very sticky.
- Pour dough into prepared pan and spread around so that it covers the whole pan. Cover dough and let rise for 60 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F.
- After dough has risen, gently poke holes with your fingers. Drizzle dough with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary, etc.) and salt if desired.
- Bake until bread is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes