Rosemary Focaccia and Book Giveaway!

You would think I have not cooked or baked anything in the last couple weeks since I've been staying at my son's house watching their 16yr. old sweet Black Lab named Thai whom I thought was still only 13yrs old. She is actually going to be 17, and still going strong...although she is practically deaf, has major cataracts, but is as beautiful and sweet, with a shiny black  hair her tummy totally grey now, and in the best shape ever (meaning she is not overweight)...Family finally came home last night, and I'm so happy that they all had such a great time.
I, in the meantime have been eating at my daughter's house and enjoying company with Fabrizio's young cousins from Italy. Two lovely young girls, ages 18 and 20. Lora and I were taking turns cooking the main meal at lunch time, and also for dinner. I decided to make my favorite rosemary focaccia...with lots of fresh chopped focaccia, homegrown from their little garden. I've been trying to find a decent photo of this, but what difference does it make?...not even trying to get into the Top 9 for Foodbuzz, so "what you see is what you get" is what it is!!!
Sometimes I prefer a nice simple focaccia instead of pizza, because it does take less work and you don't even need a topping other than fresh herbs. The dough is so fresh, the topping is crunchy, and I also added fresh course sea salt on the top before I baked it. I love course sea salt, and also love salted bagels, but have to watch the sodium, because that can bloat you and too much of a "good thing" can harm your health!

Before I continue the rest of this post regarding rosemary focaccia, I would like to offer a very nice and unique book giveaway...another "thrift find" which is by the way a brand new book that I happened to find at my favorite Goodwill store. A few of you have it already a giveaway gift, from other bloggers, so now it's my turn to offer it as a giveaway since I do not bake in small quantities but I did want to get this book for a chance to offer it to someone that really could use it!

You honestly don't have to do a only applies to followers of my blog. Very simple! You have till Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 11:00PM EST. to reply on my blog, and I will use to determine the winner, and will ship ANYWHERE else, outside United States and Canada. Now isn't that a nice offer? So drop me a few lines, and let me know if you're interested in  this wonderful Small-Batch Baking book!

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...and the winner is, Suhaina

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Thanks to all of you for your participation, and support!
adapted from Epicurious
Gourmet/March 2002

2(1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Special equipment: a standing electric mixer with paddle attachment and dough hook

Stir together 1 2/3 cups lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups flour, 1/4 cup oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt 1 tablespoon of the chopped fresh rosemary, and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Press dough evenly into a generously oiled 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Stir together rosemary and remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Make shallow indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with rosemary oil, letting it pool in indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Immediately invert a rack over pan and flip focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The only adaptation I did was to added2 envelopes of the dry yeast, equal to 2 Tbsps. I originally had this recipe from my Gourmet magazine of March 2002 issue but it was easier to upload the recipe from Epicurious, and adapting it a little.

Look at these specks of the fresh rosemary right in the, why would you not want to add more of the lovely chopped aromatic fresh rosemary to it?...dough is now turned out unto a board, adding a couple more tablespoons of flour for ease of working it and not sticking to the board.

Now, you are ready to turn dough over in a lightly oiled large bowl, after kneading it for a few minutes longer.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and a dishtowel and  keep it in a draft free, warm place (I just kept it on top of the stove) for 1 1/2 hours.

The result after 1 1/2 hours. It reached all the way to the top of the bowl...this is why I use double amt. of the yeast (2 packets=2 Tbsp)

Now, punch down lightly on the dough, and you are ready to turn it out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

This is another adaptation of mine; I sprayed the baking pan, lined it with parchment paper, and sprayed the parchment paper with cooking spray. The dough spreads so easily from one end to to other, just stretching it gently. When your dough does that, this is the proof to find out that you will have a perfect dough. Here's another important part. After you stretched the dough cover again with a clean dish towel, and let it rest for an additional 1 hour.

After it rested for an hour just gently poke  little pockets in a form of pattern the way you like, and add the additional chopped rosemary to the reserved olive oil, and brush it on, filling the little pockets as well.

You can brush additional olive oil on it after it bakes to a golden color, because you will be wondering what happened to all the olive oil that was brushed on literally soaks it all up!

Family dinner, on a weekday off with Chef Fabrizio's (son-in-law's) day off to enjoy dinner with family. On the top photo. On the left, Silvia, (with dark hair, Stefania, Lora in the middle, Luca, Fabrizio, and on the right front granddaughter Gabby who will be 10 next month.
I made the baked salmon rubbed with brown sugar, ginger, paprika rub, with a balsamic, honey, lime glaze. Steak, grilled by Fabrizio, and my focaccia, and perfectly ripe diced tomatoes (from Cuban produce market) a red wine vinaigrette, with caper berries, slice thin Spanish onions. Dessert, not shown by daughter, Lora!

Here are some more focaccia links, from the Zemanta program I use, which is a good way to get your blog name out there...use's free, and you will love it as much as I do!

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