I have to start by saying I have no idea how I've been keeping this blog for the best part of a year and have managed to miss having an "Italian" tag.. heh :) One of my favourite types of food...
This was actually my first attempt at making bread (other than a quick bread) without the bread machine! It turned out beautifully (it looks a little "well done" in the photos but it was actually perfectly baked!) Yum...
This made a great *sponge* for the manicotti/marinara sauce we had for dinner tonight!
I am 99% sure that if you leave out the cheese, this recipe will be suitable for vegans (and it will be dairy-free!)
This recipe makes a lot of bread but make the whole thing - you can freeze it for up to a month! To freeze, just wrap the cooled bread in plastic wrap and then foil.
Makes 12 squares/servings
1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (superfood!) plus more for greasing the bowl
1 clove garlic, minced
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/4-ounce package rapid-rise yeast
1 tsp. dried rosemary (crush it a little with a mortar and pestle) - I was seriously tempted to use lavender! Next time ;) I am so in love with the rosemary-lavender combination!
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/6 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
1 2/3 cup warm water (it should be about 110 degrees F)
1. Rub a large bowl with olive oil. Mix 1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil with the clove of garlic. Cover and let sit. Combine the flour, chopped fresh rosemary, sugar, salt, yeast, and dried rosemary in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, stir in 1 2/3 cup warm water and mix until kneeded (about 2 minutes). The dough will seem wet and sticky.
2. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk.
3. Line a baking sheet or baking dish (I used a glass lasagna dish) with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. Stir the cheeses into the dough and transfer the dough onto the baking sheet. Spread to the sides of the sheet/dish with wet fingers. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil-garlic mixture. If desired, sprinkle with additional (whole) fresh rosemary. Let the dough rise 1 hour more or until it is level with the sides of the pan.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom. Allow the bread to cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack before unmolding and serving.
Stats from the original recipe (I used less salt and part-skim mozzarella so mine may be a bit different...)
Per serving: 216 calories; 6 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat); 39 g carbs; 4 mg cholesterol; 929 mg sodium (eek!); 1 g fibre; 3 g sugars.
This is based on the Oregano and Asiago Focaccia recipe from the April 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times. I used Baking Illustrated to figure out the ideal water temperature.