Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia Bread


 I have been in the mood for a really good baked ricotta.  So, when planning this meal I had to come up with the best bread to suit the ricotta cheese.  Focaccia is it!  Focaccia is a flat oven baked Italian style bread.  An olive oil based bread (in most cases) it is tender, with a slightly flaky crust.   It is perfect to be topped with Baked Ricotta.

I warn you though, home made bread of any kind is very hard to abstain from.  Mr. W, Em and I have eaten about a 1/2 loaf a day, as it is so delicious.  Thank goodness for balance the rest of the day.

I am making the Baked Ricotta for lunch today, to go with this fabulous bread and will post the recipe tomorrow.
 
Sun-Dried Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia Bread
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting 

Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil 
sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add warm water.  Then sprinkle in yeast and sugar.  Swirl gently with your fingertips to dissolve the yeast and sugar.  Let the mixture sit for 3 minutes, until foamy. With your mixer on low speed, slowly add 1/2 cup of flour at a time.   Add salt water to the mixture.  Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough  smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a crust. Cover with a damp tea towel and sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Coat a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil and corn meal.

Turn out your dough onto the counter, once it is doubled in size.  Roll dough out to a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough in the pan and press and stretch to the size of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Preheat oven to 400°. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.

Uncover the dough and dimple with the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon.

 

Brush the surface with more olive oil.  Press the desired amount of sun-dried tomatoes into the dough and sprinkle with rosemary.


Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes, remove bread from pan and place on a cooling rack
(skipping this step will prevent you from having a crisp crust).


Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve immediately.


ALTERNATE OPTIONS:  You can add rosemary and chopped sun-dried tomatoes to your dough in the mixer for a very flavorful bread. 

Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com

16 comments:

  1. Looks really really delicious, I haven't had this kind of bread for a while. Its amazing what a huge difference rosemary makes

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  2. Your focaccia looks amazing! I am curious about the baked ricotta, though. How do you make it?

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  3. I am a carb FANATIC! I do not think I need to eat meat but I could seriously eat bread and pasta every day! If I made this I could probably eat it by myself in a few short hours! Thanks for sharing this awesome looking focaccia.

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  4. Donna, this turned out beautifully! Way to go. It looks delicious.

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  5. For some reason Foccacia has always intimidated me, more so than any other breads. Not sure why, but I think it's just because I'm wanting it to turn out so deliciously and will be so absolutely bummed if it doesn't. Yours turned out great!
    Donna, I have a question for you. Can you send me your e-mail address to lafbaker@gmail.com? I can't seem to find yours. Thanks!

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  6. Delicious and pretty..superb

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  7. I just ♥ Foccacia bread! Yours looks absolutely delicious!

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  8. wow looks amazing love focaccia must try making it :-) sorry couldn't afford to do a droid app, the iphone one cost 3000

    Rebecca

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  9. Oh my gosh, this bread sounds amazing Donna! Focaccia bread is one of my favorites. That baked ricotta sounds pretty darn good too. I'll be looking out for it if you post!

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  10. Wow! I know if I made this I would eat it all in one day. That bread looks dangerous! :)

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  11. Yum! This sounds fantastic! Going on my "To Make" list :)

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  12. Donna,
    Nothing like a warm piece of focaccia. This looks wonderful. Looks there is going to be some great eats over here.
    -Gina-

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  13. I'm crazy about sun-dried tomato and the thought of pairing this with pasta makes me really hungry...

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  14. The focaccia was fantastic!!! Thank you SO much. I warmed a slice to munch on while I was fixing lunch. The tomatoes were delicious on top as well!

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