Basil Rosemary Focaccia Bread

When you are trying to loose weight… pastas and breads are 2 things that come in the limited eating list… even if you are eating whole wheat pasta or whole grain breads!! I simply am a pasta and bread freak. Pasta salads were my lunch until I decided to go healthy and try new grains, now I eat it only once a week as lunch!! Don’t even get me started on Breads…when I moved to USA I was in awe of the different varieties… I remember trying new ones every time… don’t forget the warm delicious breads they give in the Italian restaurants mm mmm…. then discovered Panera Bread and Atlanta Bread company… KILLERS!!

I am not aware of a good bakery in our town known for their breads…we have tonnes of cake bakeries. Then I discovered Publix Supermarket… and the wonderful bakery! They have some nice breads. So cut short, I LOVE BREADS…so when I was going through Divine Taste and when saw the Focaccia Recipe I had to try it!!

Basil & Rosemary Foccacia Bread Recipe 
from: Divine Taste

Ingredients: 

For preparing the yeast
330 ml (1 1/3 cup) milk
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp instant yeast (I used Rapid Rise Yeast)

For the bread dough:
460 gm (3 1/4 cups flour)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:
60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp asafetida

Method:
1. Heat the milk and turn off the flame. Stir in the sugar into the hot milk. 
2. When the milk is lukewarm sprinkle the yeast and allow to rest for ten minutes.
3. Into the bowl of a stand mixer or a food processor add flour and salt and mix well. Stir in the oil and yeast mixture. 
4. Use the paddle attachment, if using a stand mixer and mix until the dough comes together. Then use the dough hook and knead for four to five minutes. If using the food processor use the steel attachment and there is no need to change the attachments in between. Alternatively mix by hand and use the base of your palms to knead into a smooth pliable dough on a work surface or a clean kitchen counter. (I used the food processor with metal blade)
5. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle using a little maize or corn flour. 
6. Carefully transfer the rolled dough into a greased 9” by 12” baking  tray. Spread and shape the dough to fit into the tin. (You could refrigerate the dough at this stage if you plan to make it later.)
7. Allow to rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs until the dough raises and doubles in size. It could take a little longer if the weather is very cold. (It is a little cool down here, so I had to keep it longerclose to 4 hours)

Left-Rolled out dough. Right-Risen dough

8. Once you put the dough to rest, you can prepare the topping. In a small wok or saucepan, heat the oil. Stir in the asafetida and the herbs and turn off the heat.
9. Allow the flavors to seep into the oil by allowing it to rest for half an hour to an hour or longer if possible.
10. After the dough is raised and doubled in size, make equally spaced indentations with your thumb or forefinger.

11. Pour the herb topping evenly over the top. This may seem like a lot of oil in the beginning, don’t panic as this is what will create the perfect crust and give you perfectly seasoned bread.
12. Bake at 200 C/400 F for twenty minutes. Every oven is different so watch carefully and make sure your bread is not overly browned.
13 Remove from the oven when done and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. The oil continues to seep into the bread even after it is out of the oven. 

 
*If you want to substitute instant yeast with fresh or active dry yeast, use a yeast conversion table then at the stage when the dough comes together, roll into a ball and place covered until double in size. Punch the dough, shape and place in the tin, allow the dough to rise again and follow the rest of the recipe.*

Yes I ate half of the first rectangle I cut!! DELICIOUSNESS GALORE… is what exactly this bread is.. I am not saying this just due to my love for breads…but it will blow away your mind!

The best part of this bread is of course that it is tasty… but it was pretty easy too… once the yeast was ready, put it all in the food processor, mixed, rolled, laid in pan, rested, baked and done! Waiting for it is the longest part of this recipe and the hardest 😉 there is a saying in my language Having patience leads to sweeter results!” In this case not sweeter but definitely delish results 😉 

Try it, I promise you will love it. 

Until next time,

Cheers =)   

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