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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rosemary Foccacia

While my wife and I were out walking a few nights ago, we stopped to talk with a neighbor who was out gardening in her yard.  Before we resumed our walk, I asked the neighbor if I could have a sprig of fresh rosemary that was growing beside her driveway.  She said I could take all I wanted, and sent me on my way a sprig of rosemary in my pocket. 

With some fresh rosemary in hand, I decided it was time to make some rosemary Foccacia bread.  Several years ago (for medical reasons), I could not consume any salt for two weeks and had to specially prepare all my meals including making my own bread.  I used a recipe from The No Salt Cookbook to make Foccacia bread with rosemary that didn’t contain any salt and it was a big hit in our household.

For this Foccacia, I turned to our Bread Machine Magic book and the listed recipe.

Foccacia Bread:
Courtesy of Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg & Lois Conway

   1 cup water
   3 cups all purpose flour
   1 teaspoon salt
   1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
   2 teaspoons herbs (I used fresh rosemary finely chopped)
   1 ½ teaspoons dry yeast

All the ingredients are added in order to the bread machine and then I set the machine on the dough setting and pressed the start button.  The bread machine mixed and kneaded for about 20 minutes and then let the dough rise.  When the cycle was over, I was surprised to see the dough had not risen like I expected.

I went ahead, removed the dough from the bread machine, and turned it out onto our baking stone sprinkled with corn meal.  I worked the dough to spread it into a large rectangle for baking, but found the dough was very tough to work.  This is not the experience that I had using the other recipe.

Trying not to overwork the dough, I managed to get a decent sized rectangle for the bread, though I did tear the dough in one area.  The dough was like a rubber band, I would stretch it to shape and when I let go, it would snap back to its original size.  I covered the resulting loaf with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 40 minutes.  Once the dough had risen, I followed the directions, used my finger to poked holes in the dough about every inch to assist in the baking, and then brushed the top with olive oil.  I baked the Foccacia at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

The Foccacia had a pleasant rosemary taste though the bread seemed very dense and was not quite the light bread that I baked in the past.  Possible problems could be the recipe that I used, or maybe our yeast is getting old.  I am going to have to find our copy of The No Salt Cookbook and make the recipe again to see if I can figure out why the Foccacia was so dense.  I will have to take a walk down the street and ask the neighbor for some more rosemary and take a trip to the store for a new jar of yeast.  It will be interesting to see how the two recipes compare.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell


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