I’m kind of getting the Monday blues. It was a really nice weekend, despite Charlie and Aiden coming down with yet another bug Sunday morning. (Unfortunately, we just can not stay well this year. Seriously making me long for spring. Getting tired of all these colds!) Saturday morning, we took the boys to McDonalds so they could run around and play. Charlie and I sat and had a coffee and chatted, read, and otherwise relaxed. So nice. Sometimes I really wish my back yard had giant tube/tunnels and slides. Otherwise, we pretty much stayed on the rest of the weekend. We watched some TV, played video games (Yep the husband and Aiden have got me playing too.), read, and otherwise vegged.
I also took some time, actually quite a bit of time, to work on a few ambitious baking projects; the fruits of which you will be seeing over the next few posts. Everything I baked this weekend came together perfectly. Then when it was time to take my photos for the blog I just kept nailing these great shots. Don’t you just love it when everything just works like that? SO wonderful. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t happen to me that often. Gotta enjoy it well it lasts!
No wonder, with everything working so well in the food department, and all the relaxing time with Charlie and the kids, that I can’t stand for the weekend to be over! I am excited about my posts for this week, though. Like I said everything in the kitchen came together perfectly, including today’s recipe Tomato Parmesan and Sage Focaccia.
I love focaccia, but don’t make it often. I have no idea why, because it’s pretty easy as far as yeasted breads go, and is so so good, regardless of your topping choice. Around my house a lot of it gets eaten with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic. (Charlie’s favorite.) I also think it’s wonderful with pasta of any sort of Italian soup or pasta. (Soak up that extra ragù!) However, I’ve gotta say the absolute best thing to do with focaccia is make paninis (FoodNetwork has 50 suggestions for what to put in your panning, if you need ideas). It is the perfect bread for paninis. It grills up perfectly, and really elevates what could otherwise be a very boring lunch (i.e. a cold sandwich).
All of my batch of Tomato Parmesan and Sage Focaccia has already been dedicated to making lunch not blah this week. I’m thinking to go for classic Caprice style panini and maybe a grilled eggplant and havarti? There will definitely be some sort of turkey panini. I accidentally ended up with 5 lb. of two different types of turkey cold cuts (i.e. 10 lb. of turkey!) instead of .5 lb. when I did the groceries this past week. Yep turkey paninis for everyone at my house. Good thing I made a lot of focaccia!
Tomato Parmesan and Sage Focaccia – Yields one large pan
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry year
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 6 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- aprox.1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1. In the bowl of a large stand mixer add yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over and mix gently with a spoon. Allow the yeast to stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
2. Add flour, kosher salt, sage and olive oil. Using the dough hook mix until well combined and a coarse dough forms. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead well for 10 minutes. be sure to fold the dough in on itself several times.
4. Oil a large bowl using extra virgin olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm location and allow to rise for one hour. Dough will double in size.
5. Coat a jelly roll pan with 1/2 the remainder of extra virgin olive oil. This may seem like a lot of oil, but do not skimp, the bread will not turn out correctly without it. Press the dough flat into the pan using your hands. Using your thumb poke sharply into the dough creating a deep indent. Do this all over the dough. This will create the traditional craggy texture of focaccia bread.
6. Pour the remainder of the extra virgin olive oil over the dough, distribute evenly. You may wish to use a pastry brush to distribute. Sprinkle the sea salt and sage over the top of the dough. Distribute the tomato slices on top of the spices. Press gently to help the tomato adhere to the bread. Sprinkle the cheese every over the top of the tomatoes. Place dough in a warm location and allow to rise for an additional hour. Dough will double in size again, rising to the top of the jelly roll pan.
8. Preheat over to 425* and bake focaccia for 25-30 minutes until the top of the bread is golden brown. Check the bread after about 10 minutes and rotate the pan as needed to create even browning. Allow the pan to cool slightly before cutting.