Monday, November 25, 2013

Skillet Focaccia Bread

Until recently I really feared working with yeast. I had done it several times in my life but it was definitely my least favorite kitchen project. After making cast iron pizza I became a convert and decided I needed to use yeast more. I recently found myself home unexpectedly for the day on a Sunday, our dinner plans cancelled, and no real meal plan in mind. I was craving cavatelli with marinara but wanted to make something to "spice" up dinner and make it more fun. Enter this focaccia.

I started out with intentions of making a loaf of Italian bread but stumbled upon this and decided I needed it in my life. Anything I can make in my Le Creuset skillet becomes an instant favorite so I was sold. This came together so easily, really taking minimal effort, and the bread was incredible. I followed the original recipe to a T but next time I might mix up the toppings. I love oven roasted tomatoes and shaved parmesan baked into focaccia so I can pretty much assure you that'll be my next rendition. John and I both loved this bread- John even ate it with just about every meal for the following two days. Landon, however, wouldn't even try it which is so odd since typically he sees bread and he is so sold! Toddlers... the least predictable species on the planet.

Source: Crunchy Creamy Sweet

3/4 c warm water
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 c all-purpose flour ( divided )
1/2 tsp salt

For the parmesan butter brush:
3 Tbsp unsalted or salted butter, melted
2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1- Place water and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves.
2- Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir few times. Let sit until foamy ( about 5 minutes).
3- Turn the mixer on low speed and add 1 cup of flour and salt. Mix until combined.
4- Add oil and mix well.
5- Gradually add as much of the remaining cup of flour as you can ( it can be only 3/4 of it) and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
6- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220 degrees F and when it's ready turn it off. Keep the door closed.
7- Grease the skillet (I used olive oil).
8- Place dough onto a floured surface (use the remaining flour from the second cup) and fold the dough few times until you feel it's smooth and not sticky anymore. Shape into a ball.
9- Roll out the dough into a size of your skillet.
10- Place in skillet. Stretch up the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
11- Take the skillet out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers.
12- Mix melted butter, parmesan and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush the dough with half the butter.
13- Place skillet with dough in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with remaining butter. Let cool until safe to the touch and slice. Serve.

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