Due to poor menu planning, last night was an over-the-top carbo load. To accompany the Gemelli with Basil-Walnut Pesto, which I'll post about later, I made this Rosemary Focaccia. That meant that our Sunday Supper had basically no protein to speak of. But it did seem to give me a decent amount of energy for this morning's run. Not really. More like it gave me motivation to keep running because of the guilt.
Another aspect of my poor dinner planning was the fact that I wasn't paying attention to the clock and started the focaccia a little late considering how long it would need to rise. It came out of the oven at 8:30. We were hungry around 7:00, so I made the pesto during the focaccia's second rise and we just went ahead and ate. I like to think of that as a first course...
It was worth the wait. A crunchy edge, a nice, slightly crumby but moist interior, a subtle lovely olive oil flavor.
The top of the loaf dotted with rosemary and sea salt was the finishing touch that added dimension without masking the pure flavor of the bread itself. Recipe after the jump:
Adapted from Epicurious.com
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast
4-5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Stir together 1 2/3 cups lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 tablespoon salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. The dough should be slightly sticky, but if it is extremely sticky, slowly add up to an additional 1 cup of flour. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Press dough evenly into a generously oiled 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Stir together rosemary and remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Make shallow indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with rosemary oil, letting it pool in indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Immediately invert a rack over pan and flip focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.