Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Fuss Cheese Focaccia

So we did it. Well, you did it really. This Mommy Cooks now has 100 followers! That is so exciting!! Well for me at least it is. Keep checking back within the next week and I will be hosting my very first giveaway!! You too can own one of my very favorite kitchen gadgets!

OK, now on to today's recipe. Have you ever made Focaccia? Have you ever even had it? I'm sure you have. I think it's the kind of bread the like to serve at Italian restaurants with olive oil to dip it in. Well I saw this on my friend Nancy's blog, Casual Cuisine, and decided to make it a few weeks ago. I made one loaf with cheese, and one without. Note that I am posting a recipe for Cheese Focaccia. I liked the one with cheese so much, that's what I'm going to post. It was so yummy! I actually think it could maybe use a little more than one cup of Feta cheese. I've noted that below in the ingredients. If you need to do without cheese, then just omit it, the rest of the recipe is exactly the same. You can change this up with any combination of herbs your little heart desires. And the best thing about this bread? It is so easy to make, and it looks all fancy! (Well my picture doesn't really do it justice, but it could look really fancy.) This would go great dipped in olive oil and herbs, with and dinner, or even a good sandwich. I haven't tried it with my whole white wheat flour yet, next time I will. I'm sure it will be just as good, only healthier. Have I convinced you to make your own bread yet? Don't be scared of that little jar of yeast, it is your friend! It gives you so much yumminess!

No Fuss Cheese Focaccia
slightly adapted from Casual Cuisine originally from King Arthur Flour

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups (14 ¾ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup (or more) crumbled Feta cheese*
4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavoring, optional (i did not have)
1/4 cup Vermont cheese powder, optional (i did not have)
pizza seasoning, optional
Parmesan Cheese, shredded for sprinkling on top
any seasoning you choose
Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom. (I used two 9 inch round cake pans.)

Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds. Add 1 cup crumbled feta cheese to the dough after it's been kneaded for 60 seconds.

*If you want to make your bread without cheese, just omit the cheese and follow the rest of the directions.

Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it’s become puffy.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger.

Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with pizza seasoning, and/or the dried herbs of your choice, if desired.

Bake the bread till it’s golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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