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Sunday, September 30, 2012


A variety of breads including Focaccia.
A variety of breads including Focaccia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

Give this trendy flatbread by itself or as an accompaniment to dips and spreads. Focaccia can be eaten alone  but it is best if its eaten together with your homemade spreads, it would enhance the look of your flatbread as much as it enhances the flavor. We often resort to making this flatbread when we feel like being idle on an evening with my family just sitting there watching movies we like while feeling the taste of focaccia on every bite. My family will always enjoy its flavor enhanced with another dish.

You will need:

¾ cup lukewarm water
½ teaspoon sugar
1¾ cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons dried rosemary

Here's how:

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. After a few minutes, the yeast mixture should begin to foam. (If it doesn't, the yeast might be too cold or the liquid too hot or too cold.) Add the flour and stir to form a dough. Turn out on a lightly floured counter and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. (TIP: If you have a standing mixer with a dough hook, simply combine the yeast mixture, shortening and flour in the mixing bowl and process with the dough hook until a dough is formed. Continue to process for 5 more minutes in place of kneading.) Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough and let rest 5 minutes. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Shape the dough into a wide rectangle on the baking sheet. Using your fingers, make indentations all over the dough. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and rosemary. Let it rise for another 20 minutes, then bake at 400oF for 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cut into squares (about 4 x 4 inches) to pack or to serve.

Yield: 1 large focaccia
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 1 hour 5 minutes rising time
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Storage: 1 week refrigerated or 2 months frozen
Packaging Ideas: Wrap squares in clear wrap or cellophane. Place several squares in a basket together with a jar of dip or spread. Wrap with cellophane and tie with ribbons.

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