sunday night is now officially my frIIIday night!
the sunday night blues have now been converted to the tuesday night blues.
thus, monday mornings are couch relax time.
two and a half cups of coffee time.
scratch my back and zone out time.
bread baking is a part of my daily life now.
i spend a lot of quality time with sourdough and naan, soft pretzels and steamed buns, bagels and sticky buns.
the quality time is often hot, messy, and stressful.
but even when i am stress running around like a maniac and have dough in my eyebrow, i can still stop for 10 seconds to crack my back and admire the coolness of what i'm doing, what i'm making.
i made some rosemary focaccia not at work couple weeks ago. it was perfect, everything an olive oil crusted bread should be. thin crust, crisp and salted. soft and chewy innards. the top, sprinkled with flakey sea salt and raw sugar.
(don't raise your eyebrows at me sir)
(the small bit of sugar does great things to bring out all the awesome bready flavors)
(it's not gonna taste like sweet dessert bread, SIR.)
(you're weird, sir.)
three days ago, focaccia was added to our grand list of breads to churn out.
more work --> another thing to stress about? yes.
it was served as the base of a sandwich, open faced, layered elegantly with fresh hummus, heirloom tomato + cucumber salad, slices of grilled chicken, and olive pesto.
i just stuffed some caprese salad inside the the bread leftovers and called it an afternoon.
mozz bomb. juicy tomatoes. spinach pesto. i can be content any day with just these things.
but i do appear to have been majorly one-upped by my own job.
barely adapted from pastry affair
4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
2 3/4 cups warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 1/2 tsp raw sugar
in a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, water, and yeast. cover the bowl with plastic and allow to rise in a warm dry place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough has tripled in volume and is bubbly.
in a stand mixer, attach dough hook and mix in salt and rosemary. knead dough for an additional 5-7 minutes. dough will be loose and sticky.
( if not using a stand mixer, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead dough, mix in salt and rosemary at this time. add more flour as needed. dough will be difficult to handle, but try to incorporate as little flour as you can, as it will result in a softer bread)
cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another hour, or until doubled in volume.
in a 13x17 inch rimmed baking pan, evenly distribute 2 tbsp of olive oil to coat the pan. turn out dough onto pan and with oiled hands, pull dough to the edges of pan. the dough may resist, but with some patience it will stay put. cover dough with a clean dish towel and allow to rise for an additional 20 minutes.
preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
using your fingertips, dimple the top of the dough. drizzle remaining olive oil evenly over bread and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, black pepper, raw sugar, and rosemary. bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. let cool slightly in pan before serving warm.
on the next day, toast the leftovers and make sandwiches.