…every pantry has a story
The way that food costs, along with everything else, are constantly rising, whenever some fun food is buy one, get one free, I’m all in. I really like when BOGO’s, have a great shelf life, so they keep in the pantry for a future project. This week’s find was sun-dried tomatoes. I have a number of recipes that I like to use them in, especially Italian meatloaf, one of my oldest Son’s favorite dishes. I’ve been wanting to make this bread for a while, so no time like the present.
A lot of people, including myself, are often intimidated by making yeast breads. I have to admit, my first few go rounds with yeast dough, did not end well. After awhile, you just have to develop the mantra, it’s just food, it’s either going to work or it isn’t, always have a plan B. I do have to say though, unlike most other foods, making yeast dough, is not something that just comes out the same every time. It can be finicky, depending on the temperature, or humidity, your results can vary, no matter how careful you are.
This bread is really simple to make, you could add or subtract, ingredients to suit your taste. When it comes to dimpling the bread, I use my fingertips, and a docker. The docker, that white pronged object in the picture, prevents the dough from rising too much, I always use it when I make pizza crusts. I used the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, it gives the bread a slight red hue, and a good flavor. If you do this, make sure the remaining oil, covers the tomatoes in the jar, replace with additional olive oil if needed. This focaccia bread multi tasks like a champ. Sturdy enough for burgers, or paninis, it can be served as a side, or a snack dipped in marinara, flavored oils, or ranch dressing.
SUN-DRIED, BLACK OLIVE & ROSEMARY FOCACCIA BREAD
3 ½ cups white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
½ c sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
½ c black olives, chopped
1 tbl fresh rosemary, minced
3 tbl olive oil, (I use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
1 c warm water, plus about a half a cup extra
Lightly oil a large bowl. Mix together sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and rosemary, set aside. Blend flour and salt, stir in the tomato olive mixture. Stir yeast to 1 cup warm water, with dough hook blending, slowly pour yeast mixture into the mixing bowl. Add more water as needed, the dough should be moist, but not too sticky. Once kneaded, remove from mixing bowl onto a floured surface. Knead dough, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough into lightly oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let rise in a warm place, until doubled in size. This should take about 90 minutes – 2 hours, depending upon the room temperature.
Lightly oil a baking sheet. When the dough has doubled, punch it down in the bowl. Remove from the bowl onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently spread the dough, stretching out to the size or shape you desire. Cover with a clean towel, let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, this will take about an hour.
Preheat oven to 400. Dimple the top of the dough with your finger tips, or a docker, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer bread to cooling rack, serve warm or cold.