When Martin and I were invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, I wanted to bring something over so I thought and thought … and thought and thought. I probably spent way too long trying to figure out what to bring. Dessert is generally my go-to, but Tara had already said she had it covered with a divine-sounding orange dreamsicle cake. So … I decided to bring bread. I hadn’t worked with yeast in a while up until that point and hadn’t made focaccia in an even longer while.
The first two times I made focaccia, I was completely new to the bread-making process and just blindly followed the directions of two different recipes. One created a VERY dry dough I could barely pull into shape and one created one so wet, it was pourable out of the mixing bowl.
I don’t know if one of those ways was actually a right way, but I know I didn’t really like the bread it produced. So I decided to go by my favorite method, the “slightly tacky, sticking to the bottom of my bowl but NOT the sides” method. I mixed away and let it do its first rise before pouring it out onto a sheet pan. I don’t actually have the size pan they were calling for … so I made do.
“Make do” is code for “ghetto-rigged something.”
Spreading it out was kind of a pain. I had to stop once to let the dough rest for a few minutes before I could get it to fill the pan.
After the second rise (where I absolutely could not believe how much it rose again), I dimpled it with my fingers and brushed it with olive oil and rosemary from my herb plant:
And baked it:
Woah! This actually kind of looks like focaccia!
Then I cut it up, arranged it prettily in a bowl and brought it to the dinner party.
Arun was there and when he saw the focaccia, he said that it was his favorite type of bread and immediately started digging in. That made me feel so ridiculously happy, sort of like when you give someone a Christmas present and it turns out to be their favorite one of the year.
So there you go. Rosemary focaccia bread, like the Gourmet cookbook taught ya.
Note: I added the flour in increments and probably only used about 3.5 – 4 cups of flour.