Wednesday, June 19, 2013

two hundred and sixty-three

Remember last Friday when I said I'd share my recipe for fried chicken with you this week?  Weeeell, I ended up feeling really terrible this weekend, so Mr N and I opted to get fried chicken from the KFC ripoff down the street.  Despite the sides being prepackaged and terrible, the chicken was hot and crispy.  It hit the spot, even though it wasn't as good as mine.  Unfortunately, the okay-ish chicken left me with the problem of not knowing which recipe to share with you today!  I looked at my menu plan and didn't see anything I hadn't shared before: black bean soup; penne with sausage, peppers, and onions; ginger chicken and green beans; homemade "Sierra Turkey" sandwi----wait a second!

P.S.  In case you can't tell, I've been playing with my recipe formatting in order to make my Dreams Unreal recipes as well laid out as my Home Ec 101 recipes.  So....  How do you like it?  Is it easier to understand?  Click through, check it out, and let me know!

Parmesan and Black Pepper Focaccia

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons + 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive, vegetable, or canola oil
  • black pepper
  • 1/3 + 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Combine 2 teaspoons yeast, 2 tablespoons white sugar, and 1 cup warm water in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large bowl armed with a sturdy spoon).  Let the yeast proof.
  2. When the yeast is foamy, add 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan to the mixing bowl.  Attach the dough hook to the mixer (don't forget to lock your mixer!) and mix on the lowest speed until just combined.  The dough will be shaggy.
  3. Turn off the mixer and add the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Restart the mixer on the lowest speed and stir for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and cleans the sides of the bowl.  If the dough seems sticky, add up to an additional 1/2 cup of flour during the mixing/kneading process.
  4. Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with 1teaspoon oil, cover with a damp tea towel, and allow it to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into two equally sized balls.  Flatten the dough balls into circles, then place each dough circle into its own lightly greased 9" round cake tin.  Use your hands to squish the dough until it reaches the sides of the tin.  (Don't worry if it shrinks back at this point.)  Cover the filled cake tins with your (re)dampened tea towel and let rest while the oven preheats.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Once the oven has preheated, remove the tea towel from the cake tins.  Use your fingertips to make tiny craters in the dough, which will help it spread back out and keep it from rising too much.
  7. Drizzle each loaf of focaccia with about 1 tablespoon of oil, then use your fingers to make sure the tops of the loaves are covered.  Sprinkle each loaf with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and as much freshly ground black pepper as you'd like.  (May I recommend a lot?)  Sprinkle each loaf with 1/4 cup (dare I say "or more"?) of grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Place the cake tins side by side in the middle of the hot oven.  Bake at 375 F until risen and light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. When the bread comes out of the oven, immediately remove the loaves from the tins and transfer them to cooling racks to cool.  (No one wants soggy focaccia!)
  10. To use for sandwich bread for the homemade "Sierra turkey" sandwich, wait for the bread to cool completely.  Use a bread knife to slice each loaf in half horizontally, as you would a layer cake.  (Protip: Cut a shallow guideline along the circumference of the loaf before taking the plunge and cutting all the way through.)  Fill and serve.

Makes 2-9" loaves.

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