There's nothing like warm bread fresh out of the oven. It's just another one of those food items that screams 'comfort'. My dad bought a bread maker a few years ago and it was amazing waking up to freshly baked bread every morning...for about a week. The problem with homemade bread is it is a very time consuming process, even with expensive bread makers. After a week of making bread, the machine ended up down in the basement, never to see the light of day again. Don't get me wrong, I love the process of making bread with your own two hands, the kneading, resting, braiding, and so on. But we don't all have the time for that. So Ihave found a way around that. Here is my Cheaters Handbook recipe for Rosemary Focaccia Bread.
I love this cheat because you can plan ahead or do it all last minute, you can improvise with the recipe a ton and add a lot of your own character, and it tastes amazing! The trick is purchased pizza dough. Pizza dough has a very similar texture to focaccia bread, and, just like focaccia bread, you can add a large variety of different ingredients and flavours. You can purchase pizza dough at most grocery stores, or even ask your favourite pizza restaurant if you can purchase a bag of their dough, you would be surprised how many will say 'yes'.
Pizza dough can stay in the fridge for about three or four days, so you can easily plan out your bread in advance. The bread that I have made here is just one of many different ways you can make your pizza dough focaccia, so try experimenting with all sorts of different ingredients. try out different herbs, spices, and vegetables, and have fun! This bread is great to serve to guests because it looks like you put a lot of effort into it (it's really a gorgeous looking bread) and you can cater it to the other courses you are eating. The night I served the Rosemary Focaccia Bread to my family, my mum was making spaghetti. I wanted to make a bread that would compliment the spaghetti sauce, so I mimicked a lot of the flavours found in the meat sauce. The meat sauce had garlic, rosemary, and parmesan, flavours that taste great in bread, so I topped my pizza dough with that.
1 bag of pizza dough
flour for pan
parmesan cheese, grated
1. Take dough out of fridge and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Brush olive oil onto pan and lightly dust with flour. Shake off excess flour.
2. With your hands held together like fists, hold up the dough and form into desired shape and size. The fists will help to resist tearing.
3. Place onto floured pan and brush dough with olive oil.
4. Spread pureed garlic over dough and sprinkle with desired amount of rosemary, parmesan, and sea salt to taste.
5. Place in a 400º oven for about 15 minutes (depending on thickness) making sure to keep your eye on the dough (a thinner focaccia may bake very fast depending on your oven). Remove from oven and slice.