Monday, August 10, 2009

Foccacia With Roasted Tomatoes and Herbs

Isn't this just the loveliest looking bread? I slow roasted the cherry tomatoes in a bit of oil, rosemary, thyme and salt for something like five hours at 200 degrees F. Then, I cooled them and used them to top the bread. Perfect.

I used to make this foccacia with considerably more yeast, but I've come to realise it simply isn't necessary. I think this could be reduced even further and still get a reasonably fast rise. Certainly, you could use a fraction of the yeast and do a very slow rise in the fridge, but this is probably not the best recipe for that style of bread. All told, it takes about an hour to rise and 25 minutes to bake which isn't too terribly long to wait for fresh bread, now is it?

You Will Need:

Roasted tomatoes, cooled and drained of oil. I reserved the seasoned oil and used it for my pasta this evening.

3 teaspoons granulated yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
4-5 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt plus extra coarse salt for sprinkling top
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix yeast, sugar and water and let proof about five minutes. Add oil, flour and salt. Mix well and knead until smooth. Cover and let rest ten minutes. Roll out into an oval or square and place on a well-oiled pan. Top with tomatoes, extra herbs (I used some fresh sage leaves) and a sparse bit of hard cheese if you like. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Cool on rack. Makes 1 very large or two small foccacias.

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