So here I am, finally posting the second recipe in my 28 by 28 series. (There have been a few bumps in the road, but that's a conversation for another time, another place.)
Anyway, one of my roommates back in college always ordered her turkey sandwiches on focaccia bread in the dining hall. Misguided little me always wondered why a person would opt for bread with a bunch of junk stuck on the top of it over a much safer-looking French or wheat bread. When she finally convinced me to try some, I knew that I had been missing out.
I've got to admit that focaccia was one of the more intimidating things on my 28 by 28 list. My sandwich bread had been a success, but focaccia? Well, it's just so darn... fancy. And I'll admit that my ventures in breadmaking have been less than fruitful a time or two. Much to my relief, this focaccia was a cinch to throw together and has yielded many delicious turkey sandwiches. (And ham sandwiches, pepperoni sandwiches, and midnight two-bite carb-y snacks...)
This bread is really something to be proud of- it's so pretty and aromatic that you'll be the envy of the lunchroom crowd. Just don't let on that it's homemade- you might find yourself moonlighting as the office baker.
Adapted from Allrecipes
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch of black pepper
1. In a large stoneware bowl, stir together the flours and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Sprinkle the sugar and yeast into that well. Carefully pour the water into the well. Let stand until the yeast begins to act, about 5 minutes. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the well. Add the minced garlic. 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.
2. Turn out on a floured surface, and knead just until smooth. Keep the dough soft. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of the oil into a clean bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning once to oil the top. Cover. Let rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Punch the dough down. Use 1 teaspoon of the oil to coat a baking sheet, and place the dough on the baking sheet. Gently press the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Drizzle the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over the top of the dough. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to dimple the dough at 1 1/2 inch intervals. Sprinkle with the cheeses, rosemary, basil, oregano, and black pepper. Place in a cold oven on the center shelf. Place a flat pan of hot water on the shelf below the bread. Let rise until doubled, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Turn on the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake the focaccia for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned on top. Remove from the pan, and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.