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Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
This tasty and traditional Italian bread is wonderful with a big bowl of steaming, hot soup or a big plate of pasta topped with tomato meat sauce. Anyway you choose to eat focaccia is the right way! Make it an Italian Dinner night at your house tonight and serve garlic rosemary focaccia bread with Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs. Don’t forget the Chianti.
What is Focaccia?
Focaccia [foh-KAH-chyah] This Italian bread begins by being shaped into a large, flat round that is liberally brushed or drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Slits cut into the dough’s surface may be stuffed with fresh rosemary before the bread is baked. Focaccia can be eaten as a snack, or served as an accompaniment to soups or salads. Focaccia can literally be topped with so many different toppings, that the possibilities are endless.
What is Rosemary?
Used since 500 B.C., rosemary is native to the Mediterranean area where is grows wild, but is now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. Early on, this mint-family member was used to cure aliments of the nervous system. Rosemary’s silver-green, needle-shaped leaves are highly aromatic. The flavor hints of both lemon and pine. The herb is available in whole-leaf form, fresh and dried as well as powdered.
Is used both to flavor food and to scent cosmetics. Rosemary can be used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes including fruit salads, soups, vegetables, meat, particularly lamb. Fish, egg dishes, stuffings and dressings also benefit from rosemary essence. Whether you use rosemary whole, fresh, dried, ground or as essence, rosemary will add that unique flavor your are looking for.
Now that we have mentioned “essence,” what exactly does essence mean? Concentrated, usually an oily substances extracted from food or herbs such as fish, mint leaves, vegetables or flowers. The essence is used in small amounts to flavor a variety of dishes. Like extracts, essences will keep indefinitely if stored in a cool dark place.
Tasty and so delicious. Perfect alone or with any meal.
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 cup 120 to 130 F warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour and yeast. Add water, oil, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon. Stir in minced garlic cloves, snipped fresh rosemary, oregano and pepper. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape dough into a ball; place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease surface Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
Punch dough down, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease a 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. Press dough into pan. (If dough is sticky, sprinkle the surface with about 1 tablespoon additional flouUsing your fingertips, make several deep indentations in the dough. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 30 minutes)
Bake in a 350 degree oven about 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with butter or marinara sauce