I had the lovely experience of serving at several restaurants while my husband was in grad school. My best memories of working at Macaroni Grill don't include wearing the corny tie and red table napkin tossed over the left shoulder...or was it the right?, writing my name upside down in tricolored crayons and peppering oil or getting grouched at for not bringing the bread fast enough. The best memories include the employee discounted spinach and orzo pasta, focaccia bread, tiramisu, penne rustica and pasta milano and my goodness, the chocolate birthday cake with warm chocolate ginach and real whipped cream. Dreaminess.
You would think this crusty bread is brushed with oil, but no. They use a paint brush to slather on melted butter and then throw (literally, throw) small handfuls of salt on trays loaded with hot, buttery, rosemary focaccia bread.
This bread is faster than most breads to make. I'm guessing the tablespoon of yeast has something to do with that. From start to finish, it will take about 2 1/2 hours.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread ~ makes two loaves
recipe by Stella B's Kitchen
printer friendly version
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried rosemary (soak in 1 Tbsp hot water to soften some)
2 Tbsp melted butter
Butter to brush hot loaves with and coarse salt for sprinkling, if desired.
Mix yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit 5 minutes to become bubbly. Add dried rosemary with water and melted butter.
Place dry ingredients in stand mixer. Add wet ingredients to stand mixer.
With a dough hook, once combined, mix 6 minutes. While dough mixes, bring several cups of water to a boil and warm oven to lowest setting (about 170 degrees). Once oven heats to lowest setting, TURN OFF OVEN. Pour boiling water in an oven safe dish and set in oven to help create a moist, warm environment for dough to rise faster.
Place dough in oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or nearly doubled in size in warm oven.
Punch down dough. Shape into two loaves.
Set on Silpat (or greased baking sheet, baking stone, parchment..whatever you like to use)
Spray dough lightly with cooking spray. Again, warm oven at lowest setting and TURN OFF. Place loaves in warm, moist oven until nearly doubled in size.
REMOVE RISEN LOAVES FROM OVEN and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes on center rack. After 15 minutes, turn up heat to 425-430 degrees, leaving bread in oven. Once preheated, set timer for 5 more minutes to get the loaves deep, golden brown.
Remove from oven. Brush with butter and sprinkle coarse salt on top. Serve with olive oil and freshly cracked pepper.
*note: you do not have to allow dough to rise in warm, moist oven. It will rise on the counter, but I prefer to speed the process and this helps in the cool, dry months.