Tuesday, November 17, 2009

National Homemade Bread Day

Squeaking in under the wire here -- today is National Homemade Bread Day. It's said that only a very small percentage of people bake their own bread. I guess my universe must be skewed, because, among the people I know, nearly all bake their own breads.

At the last minute this evening, I decided to make some focaccia to go with dinner.

Dinner was buttermilk baked chicken from issue #2 of Everyday Food, published back in March 2003. This is a quick standby, never-fail recipe that I've been using for over 6 years now.

In addition, we had brussels sprouts. I know this is an iffy vegetable for many people, but I've always liked them. My daughter, however, needed convincing.

Tonight, I finally achieved success. The brussels sprouts were oven-roasted in bacon fat. The message was clear: bacon makes everything taste better.

One nice thing about this meal was that everything baked in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Easy and efficient.

If you want to try the focaccia, here's the recipe:

Quick Focaccia ( adapted from Gourmet, June 1996)

3/4 cup warm water (105°-115°F.)
a 1/4-ounce package (2 1/2 teaspoons) fast-acting yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
coarse salt to taste

Lightly grease a baking pan, 13 by 9 by 2 inches.

In a bowl stir together water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl stir together flour and table salt and gradually stir into yeast mixture until mixture forms a soft dough. On a lightly floured work surface with floured hands knead dough 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, and shape into a ball. Invert bowl over dough and let dough rest 10 minutes.

On lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 13- by 9-inch rectangle and transfer to baking pan pressing into corners. Let dough rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap, in a warm place 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Lightly rub some olive oil over the top of the dough. Press indentations about 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart all over dough with lightly oiled fingertips. Sprinkle with Parmesan, rosemary, coarse salt, and pepper to taste. Bake focaccia in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool focaccia in pan on a rack.


Amanda said...

That looks fabulous! Can't wait to see the chicken :)

NKP said...

Yum, foccacia is one of my all time favourite breads. The whole meal sounds delicious!

Joanne said...

Homemade focaccia is one of the best breads out there, especially with your seasonings on it. I can't believe it only has to rise for a half hour! Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Megan said...

I need to look up the chicken recipe, because it sounds like a great week night dinner plan.

Focaccia, however, it something I need to work on. It always comes out too thin for me.

Michelle said...

We love focaccia and I bake it often. So much fun to try different toppings and one of my favorites is fresh red grapes which is a Tyler Florence recipe. So good!