Focaccia provides such a tasty and fragrant reminder that great rewards are worth the wait! These crusty little loaves have an aroma that can instantly produce a dozen new friends...holding plates. And the flavor? Savory and delicate, with a punch of herbs in every bite.
- Pour the warm water and honey into the bowl of your electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add one package of dry active yeast and swirl around. Allow the yeast to foam for 10 minutes or so.
- Then add the cold water, lemon zest, 2 Tb. oil, salt, rosemary and onions. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour.
- Once all the flour is in the bowl, switch the paddle to the bread hook attachment. “Knead” on low for about 10 minutes.
- Pull the dough away from the sides and rub the bowl down with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove the plastic wrap and turn the mixer back on for 30 seconds.
- Divide the dough into two pieces and press with your fingers into two 9-10 inch round pans. As you press to dough to the edges, don’t be afraid to let your fingers puncture the dough—this will created the bumpy, rustic texture of traditional focaccia.
- Cover both pans with a clean, damp towel. Allow the dough to rise again for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 400* F.
- Before baking use the remaining tablespoon of oil and brush the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and decorate with thin onion slices, if you like.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden-brown. Turn out the bread loaves and ENJOY!
I am a big fan of lemon so the inclusion of lemon zest caught my eye. The reward was terrific (& pretty) bread! I thought the note of lemon elevated the rosemary. It didn't have that "woodsy" flavor that is sometimes present. The texture of the bread was fluffy, but still chewy like good focaccia is supposed to be. Made for Spring 2011 Pick A Chef.