Friday, March 7, 2014

Roasted Garlic Focaccia

Roasted Garlic Focaccia
Aghhhh today I am SUPER anxious! Michael has his job interview and I am just hoping hoping HOPING it goes smashingly and he gets the job and he gets a great shift schedule and everything works out perfectly for the move and it all just falls into place...

is that too much to ask?
Roasted Garlic Focaccia
Whatever. I'm anxious. You know what's an awesome cure for my anxiety?

Bread.

Making, baking, and eating bread. Especially when it's covered in roasted garlic that makes Michael turn to you and say, "What's this stuff? Cheese?" (at this point he's already tried it and declared that he liked it, so it was safe for me to say:) "Nope. Roasted garlic."

Mmmmm....I feel better just talking about it.
Roasted Garlic Focaccia
I've been dying to make focaccia* for quite some time now: I mean, it's a pretty simple bread, and it looks crazy delish.

*Side note: Michael and I got into a discussion on the correct way to say focaccia. He says "focasha", I said, "FocaCHIa" and I'm pretty sure the correct pronunciation is somewhere in between. Regardless, try saying focaccia over and over again...it just starts to sound ridiculous (as is the case with most words if you say 'em enough.)

Yeah. This recipe doesn't disappoint. It's sort of like a giant, chewy loaf of garlic bread. That's like...super...deliciously...garlicky. I love roasted garlic. And bread. We finished off these four loaves in less than a week. Just the two of us. I ate 1 whole loaf in that first day.

Whatever. No shame.



Roasted Garlic Focaccia 

Slightly adapted from Italian Food Forever

Roasted Garlic Focaccia
Makes 4 loaves of focaccia.
Ingredients:
  • 4 heads of garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 5 cups all purpose flour + more for kneading
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. instant yeast or 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (or kosher salt) 
  • 2 cups warm water
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • dried oregano, for sprinkling, to taste
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 450F. Remove the outer layer of each head of garlic, keeping the bulbs intact. Cut the top half inch off of each head. Place them all in a small baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, until the garlic is soft. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  • If using instant yeast: Combine flour, 3 tbsp. oil, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
    If using active dry yeast: Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Let sit for a couple minutes. Combine flour, 3 tbsp. oil, and salt in a large bowl. Add dissolved yeast/water mixture to the rest.
  • Stir. Add half the water (so 1 cup if using instant yeast and 1/2 cup of the remaining water if using active dry) and mix together. Continue to add the rest of the water until the dough forms a shaggy ball.
  • Thoroughly flour your hands and, as needed, flour the dough as you knead with the heels of your hands until smooth and pliable (for about 5 minutes). Add enough oil to the bowl to evenly coat it, and turn the dough to lightly coat it in the oil as well. 
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place (which for me was a slightly warm, turned off, oven) for 1 hour-1 and 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
  • Divide the risen dough into 4 pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Take each ball and flatten it with your hand, slowly stretch it with your fingers until you have an 8 inch circle. Place 2 circles on each prepared baking sheet. Cover with kitchen towels and allow to set for 10 minutes.
  • Squeeze each roasted and cooled head of garlic onto each dough circle. Use a spoon/your fingers to evenly spread the roasted garlic over the dough. Dough this with each head of garlic/dough circle.
  • Use your fingers to lightly press and dimple each focaccia loaf. Drizzle each lightly with olive oil, carefully rotating sheet to allow the oil to roll into the indentations. 
  • Sprinkle coarse sea salt and oregano over the top of each dough round.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans as needed to ensure they bake evenly (I rotated mine halfway through and baked each pan separately-you can bake the 2 sheets together but make sure to also switch them from the upper and lower thirds of the oven-AKA top to bottom and bottom to top-halfway through, as well).
  • Cool 15 minutes before slicing.
  • If desired, prepared loaves can be frozen (after completely cooling) and then thawed and eaten at a later date.
Roasted Garlic Focaccia
I luuuurve the smell of bread and roasted garlic.
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