Home Beccanomics: Rosemary Focaccia (For Lazy People)

Rosemary focaccia has long cemented it’s place at the top of my favourite breads list. One of those things where, though you’re on a no-carb diet, you make an exception for. The difficulty of finding anything other than white table bread here made me call on the internet and I found this amazing recipe! Just made my second batch of this and I am IN. LOVE. It’s incredibly easy and delicious and makes you feel so much more skillful than you actually are when you take the first bite into your freshly baked loaf.

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I did my Japanese homework while waiting for it to bake. Well at least I tried to, the smell was incredibly distracting and I always have an irrational need to sit in front of the oven and stare mesmerised into the glass panels. TV’s got nothing on a bake-in-progress.

IMG_8061Here’s how my first attempt looked like before going in. No parmesan because I didn’t have any at the time. Timings in the recipe below are adjusted because my kaikan only has a toaster oven, but I do love how mighty and efficient it is (no pre-heating needed). Also, being slightly lazy meant I eyeballed many things and cut some of the physical stuff since I’d already spent most of my energy…studying.

Rosemary Foccacia for Lazy People
Adapted from The Kitchn
Makes one 8″x6″ loaf, but you can always adjust the size to your tray when you spread out the dough.

You will need:

1/3 cup warm water (should not feel hot when you dip your finger in)
1/2 tbsp sugar*
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast*
1 tsp salt*
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used cake / tempura flour because that’s all I had and it was fine)
1 tbsp dried rosemary*
1/2 tsp black pepper*

Topping

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
1/4 tsp black pepper*
1/4 tsp rosemary*
1/2 tsp salt* (the original calls for coarse sea salt which is ideal but I only had yuzu salt on my hands)
4 tbsp powdered romano cheese* (that’s what it’s called in Japan. But you could, and should, use fresh grated Parmesan)

*These were all eyeballed, especially the rosemary and black pepper. Feel free to deviate to suit your taste! I love rosemary, so I probably added a lot more than 1 tbsp.

Mix the yeast and sugar together and add the warm water. Let stand for 2 mins. Some bubbles should form – I decided that 6 bubbles were enough. Stir in the salt, olive oil and half of the flour with a wooden spoon. After combining, add the remaining flour, herbs and pepper. Keep stirring and folding until it comes together and the condiments are evenly distributed.

Dust your hands with some flour and knead the dough until it looks nice and smooth and stretches well. I left the dough in the bowl because I hate cleaning up, but you can also knead on a floured surface. To not get your hands dirty, use the wooden spoon to knead instead. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

Let the dough stand. Meanwhile, wrap the toaster oven tray with aluminum foil and spread olive oil all over. Transfer the dough onto the tray; the dough is pretty sticky so you may want to continually flour your hands. Be gentle because the oil will make the dough slide everywhere. Spread the dough around the tray by gently pushing with your fingertips. Poke the dough all over with a fork.

Spread the 2 tbsp of olive on the surface of the dough. Mix the cheese, salt and pepper and scatter onto the dough. Sprinkle more rosemary on top, then put in the oven and toast-bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown, depending on the strength of your toaster oven.

Tadaah!

It turns out w o n d e r f u l. Crispy along the edges and soft, without a cloying density inside, though hiding surprises like the kick from black pepper or the saltiness of the topping and a slightly sweet aftertaste. I can think of a billion things I would eat this with! Add more yeast and sugar if you’d like it fluffier and lighter – I imagine this would go terrifically with pesto and homemade prawn-avocado spread. If you try it, let me know how it goes 🙂

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