I know, I know… I’m evil. I am a bread-eating, carb-loving gal who doesn’t believe that all gluten is bad. For thousands of years, all of our ancestors have been making and eating some type of bread, whether flatbread, crispy, cracker-like breads, crunchy-crusted loaves, water, and ground up grains have shaped how we eat.
Read Michael Pollan’s book, ‘Cooked- A Natural History of Transformation’ for confirmation; bread isn’t the problem. It’s how we have allowed the food production industry to cheapen the ingredients that ultimately make us sick… and fat. (https://books.google.com/books/about/Cooked.html?id=KHxP6J0PcxUC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button)
I always seek out the best grains and/or flour for my breads. Our dear friend, Tabitha, recently took me to buy bulk grains and flour from Bob’s Red Mill in Oregon. What an awesome experience! Today’s focaccia is from the wheat berries I purchased 🙂.
- 3 1/2 c flour
- 1 T sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or sourdough starter which I have but haven’t rehydrated from my recent move)
- 1 1/2 -2 cups warm, filtered water
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3-1/2 c good quality olive oil
In a large bowl, place flour, sugar, yeast and enough water to make a dough; stir well for 3-5 minutes. Make a small well in the dough and add the salt and 1 T water; cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Uncover dough and stir in the salt until incorporated. With slightly oiled hands, keeping dough in the bowl, lift the outer edge of the dough and bring it towards the center; turn the bowl and continue all the way around. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Uncover and gently tip into an oiled cake pan. With lightly oiled fingers, press the dough into the pan, being careful not to deflate all the bubbles; cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375; uncover dough and drizzle olive oil over top. You’ll think I’m crazy for the 1/3-1/2 cup measure, but you won’t be sorry if you listen! Press your fingers into the dough to create the lovely pockets that will hold the delicious flavors. Cover and rest for 15 minutes to make sure that the oven is nice and hot.
At this point, you can try your hand at the landscape focaccia that took Instagram by storm, or go simple with a light sprinkle of sea or kosher salt and sprigs of rosemary, which is traditional in Italy. I will add tomatoes, garlic and very thinly slices of onion to mine, topped with some delicious Pecorino Romano cheese, and finish it with some ribbons of fresh basil when it comes out of the oven in 30 minutes!
Oh. My. Goodness. It smells heavenly in here! Only 7 more minutes!
If you have leftovers, this focaccia will take your sandwich to a new level! Just split it half, grill it up and nosh!
Happy summer, friends! Remember, a candle loses nothing when lighting another candle… be the light we need. Eat well, love well, share what you have.