Thursday, September 16, 2010

Herbed Focaccia


14 years ago, 4 days after my son was born, we had a knock at the door and our wonderful neighbor, Brenda, brought me this delectable focaccia.  After eating hospital food for a few days, I can't even begin to explain how good this homemade treat tasted.  Soft, herby, a hint of garlic and a touch of salt.  Mmmm...  Beyond amazing!


Over the years we have served this bread at dinner parties as a side, with a dipping sauce as an appetizer, and sometimes simply split and layered with turkey and vegies for a quick lunch or snack.  Popping the ingredients into a bread machine on the dough cycle makes easy work of kneading while you are finishing up other errands or daily chores, or simply enjoying a nice glass of wine.  A final stretch of the dough, then topping it with oil, herbs and a touch of salt brings the bread to life as you pop it into the oven, and less than 20 minutes later you have a house that smells like a restaurant and a side of bread that your family will devour!

Usually I simply grind a sprinkle of Sea Salt over the top of the oiled dough, but today I had a special treat.  A couple of weeks ago I was the lucky winner to Deb from the Kahakai Kitchen's Captain Cooked book giveaway!  I won a signed copy of the recently released Captain Cooked book (a tale set in Hawaii with a foodie flair!) and Deb so kindly included spices and other foodie goodies along with the book.  Today we broke out the prized Red Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt.  Coarse and a lovely reddish color, we ground it a bit smaller and sprinkled it over our oiled and herbed dough.  Traditionally Hawaiians use Alaea salt in ceremonies to cleanse, purify and bless tools and canoes, as well as in healing rituals for medicinal purposes.  Further reading taught us that the salt is rich in natural minerals and is frequently used in traditional Hawaiian dishes such as Kalua pig.  We truly felt special using this blush colored salt, and would like to extend our hearty thanks to Deb for our special treat!!

Herbed Focaccia

1 cup water
2 Tbs olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 1/2  tsp yeast

2 Tbs Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 Tbs olive oil (I used a roasted garlic avocado oil)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt

Place first 7 ingredients into your bread machine and start on the dough cycle.  (Alternatively, mix water, oil, yeast, and sugar in a stand mixer for about 1 minute, add Italian seasoning and salt.  Add 1 cup of flour and mix.  Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix for a few minutes to knead.  Place in an oiled bowl for about an hour, or until doubled in size).  When the cycle is finished remove the dough and stretch into an oval or rectangle about 11 x 7 inches and about 3/4 to 1 inch thickness, place onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for about half an hour. Preheat oven to 400º.

After 1/2 hour make indentations into the dough to give a dimpled surface.  Brush with the additional 2 Tbs of oil.  Sprinkle the additional 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Bake for about 15 minutes (maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less...), or until top is lightly browned. 

19 comments:

  1. OMG - this looks absolutely divine! Right now I am SO hungry and wish that I had a piece or two or three in front of me. Nice job!!!

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  2. By now you know what a big fan I am of focaccia! I like it in any variation it's possible on this planet. I love yours: simple and looking amazing!

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  3. We're huge bread lovers - and love focaccia just plain or with a little dipping sauce. I'd love to try some of that Red Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt!

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  4. This looks so yummy! My gourmet grocery has a salt bar with all kinds of gourmet salts...I'll have to see if I can find this salt and give it a whirl. I know they have Himalayan pink salt, but will be on the lookout for this one!

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  5. You are not kidding Kim, this is serious comfort food for me! I've never tried to make focaccia, but why not? You make it sound so easy! Happy birthday to your son!

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  6. This looks great. would love to try this out! Thanks for sharing

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  7. The photo are gorgeous! Focaccia is a great bread to make and your addition of Alea salt makes this even more great!! That soup looks fab as well! Gosh I am hungry. You've got me wanting to bake all kinds of breads!

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  8. Your focaccia looks so amazingly fluffy... it's given me a serious craving for a nice big chunk of focaccia with some olive oil and balsamic for dipping. Guess I know what I'm baking next! :)

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  9. I can already smell the bread baking, I bet it is heavenly. Thanks for the recipe to try.

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  10. Congratulations for winning the book and that was very generous of Deb to send some Hawaian products as well, including that wonderful salt. I love focaccia but this one sounds extra delicious.

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  11. The very first post of just the bread is some serious food porn. Yum!

    I want to try this! And I seriously need to start compiling my list of recipes for when I can start cooking again. I hate being broke. LOL.

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  12. Oh my I love focaccia bread. I need to make this next week for dinner and lunches...I'll be everyone's favorite when I do I'm sure of it. I think I even have some Alaea salt around here hmmm...

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  13. Looks great! I just made focaccia too...next time I will have to try your recipe!

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  14. I have never made focaccia. Why not, I am asking myself! Yours looks perfect.

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  15. I love focaccia and yours looks divine! I could just make a meal of it :o)

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  16. One of my most favorite breads! I bet the salt made it extra special!

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  17. Me too, I'm a bread lover! I want some of that salt!
    -Gina-

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