Thursday, December 10, 2009

#13 - Focaccia

The Finished Focaccia

Before it became the trendy rage it is now, I played around with some recipes trying to make what was then a bizarre, foreign-sounding bread. But was it bread, or was it cake? Sometimes it was hard to tell. One recipe in particular from the Frugal Gourmet days (anyone remember him?) looked like a fluffy cake with tomato paste on top. Very strange visual, but a decent bread.

While that initial attempt may have been tasty, this focaccia was fantastic! First of all, it looked like focaccia. Since my early attempts, it seemed like everywhere I went for a sandwich, one could find the ubiquitous focaccia as one of the bread options. This was a welcome change from the standard sub roll, so I was eager to make this bread when I saw it coming up on the BBA list.

When I finally made it, I was not disappointed. It was delicious! I was a little worried when I saw all that olive oil called for in the recipe, but as Peter Reinhart assured us, it was all absorbed into the dough lending its silky texture to the finished loaf.

That's a Lot of Olive Oil!

After five minutes, most of the olive oil has been absorbed!

In the Oven

The Finished Loaf Hot Out of the Oven

The finished loaf was unbelievable! It was great just as is; did not need any further embellishments. I could not resist, however making a killer panini the next day. I used provolone, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil. It was fantastic and the perfect accompaniment to my favorite soup - Rachael Ray's Broccoli Rabe Soup with Beans and Italian Turkey Sausage. That may just be one of my all-time favorite meals!