Rosemary Focaccia

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Not sure why we decide to bake during pandemics…oh, pan…pandesal…pandemic. Here’s a quick easy recipe especially if you have rosemary growing in the backyard and yeast that’s about to expire.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package active-dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Lots of olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary

Method

  1. Take out your KitchenAid or mixer.
  2. Heat up water to about 110 degrees. If doing this during cold weather, I’d go as warm as 115 degrees.
  3. Add water, sugar, and yeast into the mixing bowl and give it a stir or two. Let the yeast come alive and eat up the sugar water. It should get foamy in about 15 minutes.
  4. Put on the dough hook for the mixer and put it on the lowest setting.
  5. Add about 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the yeast mix. If you add more, it’ll be ok. Add the salt. Make sure the mixer is still on low.
  6. Add 1 cup of flour. Wait until it mixes into the dough.
  7. Add 1 cup of flour. Wait 1 minute.
  8. Add 1 cup of flour. Wait 2 minutes.
  9. Add 1/3 cup of flour and let it knead the dough for about…until you think it’s done, then stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and try to collect all the dough.
  10. Turn the mixer back on to low +2. Let it knead more for about…until the dough pulls the flour and particles from the sides of the bowl.
  11. Stop the mixer and clean off the dough hook. You should have a fairly smooth looking dough that’s a little sticky. Form it into a ball, pour olive oil on top and use your hand to coat the entire ball in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for…until it doubles in size. I waited for 90 minutes because it was cold outside.
  12. Take out the dough and roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick. For shape…circles are easy, squares will make you cry, rectangles are for super talented people. But more importantly, don’t knead, don’t work the dough too much.
  13. After it’s rolled out, take out a baking sheet and drizzle a little olive oil on it and smear it all over the sheet…about the same size as your dough. Or use cooking spray.
  14. Place the rolled out dough onto the sheet and cover it with plastic wrap (hopefully the same plastic wrap you used to cover the bowl).
  15. Watch Bob Ross paint. That’s enough time to let the dough rise a little more but he says “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend” go to the next step (or wait 20 minutes and go to the next step).
  16. Set your oven to 400°F. Have convection? Yes, 400°F works too but then after 10 minutes, I recommend turning it to regular bake.
  17. Take the plastic wrap off the dough and use your fingers to poke into the dough. Make it look like the picture and don’t worry about touching the bottom of the baking sheet. Also, don’t worry about the fingernail looking holes because the dough will rise and the fingernail looking holes will go away. Drizzle more oil on top and spread it around with a brush (because you just watched Bob Ross). Summon your inner artist and add rosemary in a way that looks good to eat. Then sprinkle sea salt on top. Think of the last pretzel you had. By the time you’re done oiling and adding the rosemary, the oven should be ready.
  18. Bake for 20 minutes. I think I went 19 minutes 55 seconds.
  19. Take it out, take a picture, get it off the baking sheet because it will still cook on that heat.
  20. Try to cut it like you’re in a fancy restaurant and serve with more olive oil but I’d rather have it with marinara. 

Tips

Don’t mix in the rosemary into the dough. I mean you can but the sprinkle on top is enough to give the focaccia the taste and aroma.

You can take the rosemary and rub it between your hands to help it release more of the oils.

Don’t use expired yeast.

On the shared video of Bob Ross, he might not say, “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”

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