Two weeks ago, I decided to fix focaccia. The next day... the entire loaf was gone. So I fixed some more.
And the next day...
You guessed it: I fixed another loaf - this time twice the size of the original.
This loaf lasted for all of a day and a half. (Lest you think we have an endless capacity for bread, let me assure you that a multiplicity of our friends have been assisting us in said foccacia consumption. Actually, now that I think about it, it seriously seems that our friends have been dropping in unannounced with unusual frequency lately...)
By last week I had the recipe committed to memory, and now the first thing I do when I arrive home from campus each day - right before jogging, yardwork, and schoolwork - is set up a fresh batch of foccacia to rise...
(Which, for all of my awesome vegan readers, happens to be vegan!)
1 cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
2 packets yeast
1 very large potato, cooked (in the microwave is fastest), peeled, and cut into chunks
½ cup olive oil, divided
4 ¼ cups flour
1 T salt
½ tsp oregano
~ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
~ Stir the sugar into the warm water, then sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to foam.
~ Beat the chunks of potato and ¼ cup olive oil into the yeast mixture ( using an electric mixer is easiest) until smooth and well-blended.
~ By hand or with a dough hook, knead in the 4 cups of flour until the dough is smooth and soft.
~ Knead in the remaining ¼ cup flour until the flour is incorporated and the dough is cohesive. Be careful not to over-knead – it’s ok if the dough isn’t smooth now.
~ Coat a glass bowl with cooking spray. Turn the dough into the bowl, cover with cling wrap, and sit on a wooden surface in a warm area (approx. 70 degrees). Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.
~ Coat a 15X10” baking pan with cooking spray. Punch down the dough, then turn the dough into the baking pan. Gently stretch the dough to approximately fit in the pan (the dough won’t reach all the way to the edges and corners, though).
~ Cover the dough with cling wrap, and set the baking pan back on the wooden rising surface to rise again to double size – approx. 1 hour.
~ When the dough has finished rising, sprinkle the oregano across the top of the dough, followed by the remaining ¼ cup olive oil.
~ Bake in the lower third of the oven until the top is golden brown – approx. 20 minutes. Serve warm, dipped – and this is a must – in olive oil with herbs!