Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roasted Garlic Basil Focaccia

Today we've got a variation on my absolute favorite bread.  My roasted garlic focaccia is so good, that an entire sheet pan lasts us about a day.  So I decided to make it more Italian by adding some fresh basil.  Not just any fresh basil, but Daregal's fresh frozen basil.  

Recently I got an assortment of fresh frozen herbs in the mail from Daregal.  They're kinda neat because they are frozen fresh.  This means you can have fresh basil during the winter months in your freezer.  Or chopped up onion or garlic.  These would be handy when you're in a rush to get a meal on the table.  

The only bad thing about Daregal is they aren't available in stores in the Chicago area.  That means you'll have to order them from Amazon or pick them up when you're in the Northeast region at Stop n Shop, Giant Landover and Shaws.  I'm not sure that I'd go out of my way to order them.  While they are nice to have on hand, I typically have fresh herbs in my kitchen already.

Roasted Garlic Basil Focaccia

1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups flour
2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 head garlic
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Find a small loaf pan and coat the bottom with olive oil.  Slice the top off the head of garlic, so the tops are cut off each clove.  Place in loaf pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Cover loaf pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.  When done, remove from oven and let cool.  Squeeze cloves out of garlic head and roughly chop.

In a small saucepan, combine milk and water, heat to 120 degrees.  Pour into bowl of mixer along with yeast and 1 cup bread flour.  Mix on medium for 2-3 minutes.  Then add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, sugar, basil, chopped roasted garlic and 1 cup bread flour.  Mix slowly till all flour is incorporated.  Repeat with remaining cups of flour, adding slowly one at a time.

When dough has come together, place on floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until dough is elastic and smooth.  Place in oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled.

When dough has risen, punch down and use a rolling pin to roll out to a 10 x 15 inch rectangle.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil or use a bit more. (I pour it on until it looks good to me, makes a more moist focaccia) Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.

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