Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rose's Best Basic Loaf as Rosemary Flat Bread

Sunday, September 21, 2008

After baking Rose's spectacular lemon bars on Thursday, it occurred to me that I hadn't made a bread from Rose's repertoire for a while, so I looked on the recipe section on her blog. I found this bread, which she posted in February of 2007 and is a variation of the bread she created for General Mills' Harvest King flour. I like the Harvest King flour, but even though Minneapolis is the home of General Mills, it's difficult for me to find it, so I used King Arthur bread flour. (Sorry, Rose).

This is the third bread I've made recently that's got mostly white flour with enough whole wheat flour to add flavor and give me the chance to feel mildly virtuous. I love the combination.
This focaccia is much, much easier to make than the rosemary focaccia in The Bread Bible. It's not nearly as wet, and it handles far more easily. Also, it doesn't require that 20-minute spin in the KitchenAid--the one that tests its motor to the limit. About 30 minutes into the dough's 90-minute rising period, you stretch out the dough and give it a business-envelope turn or two. You can see how manageable it is.

It's just a little bit sticky, but nothing to get excited about.
It's perfectly tractable when it comes time to pat it out into a rectangle. No cursing going on here.

I had so much confidence in this bread's ability to bake itself that I left the kitchen while it was baking to work on the Sunday crossword. Bake for five minutes, then turn it; another ten minutes and I went back into the kitchen. There was the focaccia, all brown and puffy.

Probably a little too puffy for authentic focaccia. It's definitely an Americanized version, but that's not meant as a criticism. The crumb is more even than an Italian focaccia, and there are fewer big, random holes.

But it was quite toothsome and delicious. We ate it, still warm, for a snack with a glass of Tempranillo in the afternoon; with grilled turkey breast and sliced tomatoes for dinner; and with leftover turkey breast and lettuce for a lunchtime sandwich today. Delicious as is, it requires no butter or olive oil to gussy it up. If I can ever find a bag of Harvest King flour, I'll try it again--just for the sake of science, of course.


Doughadear said...

This is really a fabulous focaccia! I've made this one a couple of times and love working with this dough. I really don't know why I don't make it more often! Yours looks absolutely perfect.

evil cake lady said...

i'm not a big focaccia fan but this one looks so inviting, especially when i picture it warm and fresh from your oven!

Melinda said...

It does look so lovely!
Fancy not being able to find a General Mills flour in Minneapolis.
I wonder why that is? Very curious indeed.

breadbasketcase said...

If you're like me, you haven't made it more often because you keep finding new recipes that you want to try. But it is good, isn't it?

Not a big fan of focaccia! Really? Have you ever made it? It's so good--much better homemade than most focaccia you can buy!

Well, I have to admit that I haven't scoured the city looking for it, but I did look in three different stores.

Anonymous said...

I have tried this focaccia and I have announced it to the world and to the baker that it is the best bread ever! In fact, I have gotten Marie to promise that a pan of focaccia bread will be my xmas present!

breadbasketcase said...

Hi Ngoc,
This isn't the same focaccia that you tasted--I may have to bake two pans of focaccia so you can decide which one is really the best.

Ile de France said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello Marie,

That last pic of the focaccia is BEAUTIFUL! I have to make a note to NOT check your blog when I am hungry. :-/

Hope you are well,
Laura Lee

Jude said...

That golden brown crust looks so delicious. Glad to know that it needs no butter or olive oil.

breadbasketcase said...

Ha--I know what you mean! I just looked at the picture again, and it made me hungry. Too bad it's gone.

Even Jim refused butter, and he thinks most anything is better with it.

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

so glad i've finally put my head up for air and revisited this wonderful blog! harvest king is now called better for bread--it's the same flour but in a lovely yellow bag and my picture is on the front!

sure wish we were neighbors and i could come running over all the time to see what you are baking. but then i'd never get any work done!