Bake Homemade Herbed Breads: Foccacia with Rosemary


| December/January 2006


I first ate foccacia al ramerino when I was a student living in Perugia. We’d stop on our way to Italian class and get a piece of this fragrant foccacia, which was cut into 6-inch squares, and have it for breakfast, licking the olive oil from our fingers as we walked to the Universita. This recipe is an adaptation of that wonderful, savory bread.

The best homemade foccacia is cooked at a high heat on a baking stone, or on tiles. The oven needs to be set a little lower when the foccacia is baked on a metal pan. Because foccacia is generally too big to be handled with a pizza peel, I bake mine on a dark metal baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal so that it does not stick. Makes one 10- by 15-inch foccacia 

Dough 

This recipe yields enough dough for one thick foccacia; I often double it and keep one in the fridge to bake a day or two later, or freeze the dough to thaw before using at a later date.

• 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 1 1⁄2 cups warm water, 100 to 105 degrees
• 31⁄2 cups unbleached white flour
• 1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour, optional; use all white flour if desired
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• About 2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary

1. Dissolve the yeast in about 1⁄4 cup of the warm water and let proof for about 10 minutes.





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