Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Some of you may have heard me go on and on about my love for focaccia bread. (See previous post; Herb & Olive Focaccia) And while I still LOVE the recipe featured in my previous post, this one is giving it a run for it's money! Since buying my KitchenAid stand mixer a year ago, I frequently seek out new recipes that I can make with the mixer. More times than not, it ends up being bread, 'cause let's face it, who doesn't love bread?
This beauty is the perfect "pull-apart bread." Perfect for dipping in olive oil and my favorite balsamic vinegar, Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar, avaialble from Dean & DeLuca's website. If you've never tried balsamic vinegar from the Modena region of Italy, you absolutely must stop what you're doing and try it now. This particular brand has more of a sweet taste. It's no surprise that Italians pour this over ice cream, it's that good!
This type of bread is served in many restaurants, Romano's Macaroni Grill being the most popular. While there are many, many, many copy cat recipes of this bread, I found this one in particular to be the perfect density. It's so light and airy and most importantly, FLAVORFUL! In addition to the olive oil and vinegar, I love serving and/or topping this bread with Kalamata olives. Enjoy! - Jonathan
Makes 2 loaves
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Freshly ground sea salt for serving
In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and water and allow mixture to foam, usually around 2-4 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter (you'll use the 2nd, later on), salt and 2 cups of flour and with the dough hook attachment, turn mixer on to 2. Add in 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped or dried rosemary and mix until the dough is smooth, elastic and pulling away from the bowl. If it sticks to the bowl or your hands, add in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. This will all depend on your environment though I found I had to add the additional flour, each time I've made it.
Remove dough from mixer and shape in to an oval. Add olive oil to a large mixing bowl and coat thoroughly. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest until dough has doubled in size, usually 1 hour.
Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide in half, shaping dough in to ovals, like before. Place on a large, greased cookie sheet and let rise for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Sprinkle each loaf with rosemary.
While dough rises for a second time, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To give your dough a unique look, almost like a crown, you can cut an "x-shape," in the center of each loaf. This technique is called scoring and should be done just before placing in the oven.
Cook for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and brush each loaf. Generously sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt and more rosemary. Yum!
Recipe adapted from Food.com