I'm not sure if I've ever told you this or not, but I don't bake. I love to cook and I'm really good at one or two cookie recipes and last year I discovered how easy it is to make scones and play around with the recipe. So, I'm pretty good at a variety of scones now but other than that...I don't bake. I wreck bread machine bread...I don't know how, but I do.
So when I saw this recipe with step by step instruction pictures showing how easy it is, I immediately printed it off and was determined to give it a whirl. I saw how she did it and knew I could do it if that's all there really is to it. I figured we'd have fresh bread with Saturday's dinner....yum!
I read over all the ingredients and realized I had all of it except the the active dry yeast. I only had bread machine yeast. My Mom was out of town and my sister wasn't answering the phone, so I called Michelle (she's good at the baking stuff). Michelle told me not to mess around with yeast and to follow the recipe. So I quit. I wasn't going to go to the store to just buy yeast.
Then about an hour or so later, Ang called back. She saw I had tried calling on the caller ID. Ang told me that bread machine yeast is good in traditional recipes....and what do you know...it says so right on the jar! I was pumped again. I was ready to give it another try.
I got my expired yeast out (I keep it in the freezer so I figured it was okay) and the rest of the ingredients. I then read the second step and it says to use a mixer with paddle attachment. I don't have a mixer with a paddle attachment. I have a little hand mixer thingy. So I was almost ready to quit again. I call Ang...no answer. Mom is still out of town...so I bothered Michelle again. Michelle told me that before there were mixers they used their hands. Who knew! So I start the first step of sprinkling the yeast in warm water. Then Ang calls me back and she tells me I can also use a wooden spoon too. What a grand idea! Michelle and Ang were just too helpful.
So by this time it's after 4pm and I'm just starting this 4 hour process of baking bread. It turns out I didn't have enough olives, but I had some sundried tomatoes so I used both. I had a hard time getting the olives and tomatoes combined into the bread so I'm pretty sure I did overknead it. Doesn't matter....mistakes will happen the first time someone bakes bread from scratch.
I also added some parmesan to the top of it with the salt. I figured it would make a nice little touch to it.
So dinner was ready just after 8pm...fresh bread and all....and guess what....the bread turned out!! It was delicious...well a little over salty. I don't think I'd sprinkle the salt on top next time.
I'm all about foccacia now. I want to try it with tomatoes and onions....tomatoes and mozza....herbs and whatever else I can think of...artichoke hearts....idea overload!!
This recipe was so easy!! I loved it. And let me tell you...I'm not an olive fan. I don't mind it on pizza or in things...but I can't eat them straight up...but I liked them in this! I needed this in my life...and so do you...so go check it out...make it and come back and report. You'll thank me for it! Let me know what flavors you try.
I'd also like to try sweet focaccia. Is there such a thing? Like cinnamon or something? I like sweet things...sweet bread...with chocolate. I'll have to look into that.
Oh and I did have to call Michelle one more time. I didn't know how you store it once you're done. Did you know that all you have to do is let it cool, put it in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. Boom! Done!
There...no excuses....go do it. If I can do this...you can do this!
I've tried this many times since I posted it originally. It's a great "base" recipe. I've done basil, tomato and mozza....feta and sundried tomato....just herbs...it's too easy!
I think I want to try it as a pizza crust.
UPDATE: I used it as a pizza crust and it turned out delicious!! We loved it!