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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Focaccia Bread

This is one of the easiest yeast breads ever. It requires a minimum of kneading. It's supposed to be sticky so you don't have to worry about getting too much or too little flour in the dough. It's supposed to be lumpy and misshapen. You don't need any special mixing equipment or really much of anything other than simple, basic ingredients. It's also pretty fast and doesn't require much rise time.

It's a great accompaniment to minestrone or spaghetti. Top it with everything but sauce to make a quick pizza. Try out whatever flavor combos you want.

Focaccia Bread

1 c. warm water
1 T. yeast or 1 package yeast if you use the little packets
3 T. sugar
2 t. salt
2-3 c. flour

Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes. The yeast should blossom, which means it turns into a brown foam. That's a good thing for bread. Stir in the salt and 2 c. of flour. Mix well. Stir in enough more flour to make a very soft sticky dough. Set it aside for 10 minutes.

Grease a cookie sheet. Dump the dough onto the cookie sheet. Use your fingers to spread it out more or less evenly on the sheet. You want a fairly flat dough about half an inch thick. Stab some deeper fingerprints into the dough while you work. It makes the bread look more authentic. It's supposed to be lumpy looking.

Sprinkle with your choice of toppings such as Italian seasoning mix, garlic salt, sesame seeds, thinly sliced onions, thinly sliced tomatoes, grated parmesan, etc. Set it aside for 15-20 minutes until it starts to look a little poofy.

Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and not doughy in the middle. Use a pizza cutter to slice it into breadsticks. Serve hot for best taste.

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