rosemary focaccia, in two ways

There is a part of me who believes that one of the reasons why I am not married to the mister yet is the fact that he can’t live on my bakes. It surprises me to no end each time someone says that he’s lucky to have found someone who bakes, because they somehow equate baking to heavenly-bestowed kitchen abilities, that of which I am horridly lacking in. Unlike most of my peers who seem very much comfortable by the warmth of the stove, the need to actually make my own meals never arose, much thanks to the resident master chef of the household; my mother.

But what happens when the menu for the day comprises of dishes that this fussy eater chooses not to put on her plate?

She still turns to baking. [Well, primarily.]

LUNCH: A focaccia sandwich of scrambled eggs with paprika and pepper, topped with cherry tomato and cucumber slices.

Ever since I dabbled in yeasted fluffs which soon became personal favourites of the household;– namely the soft pretzels and cinnamon rolls;–Β  I had been itching to strike off another item on my yeast journey. And since most of the bookmarks required either bread flour or very long proofing durations, I turned to this simple focaccia bread that would be on my table in under an hour.

Focaccia. In an hour. Have I gotten your attention yet?

DINNER: A bowl of warm cream of mushroom soup topped with parsley flakes, served with warmed focaccia slices.

The best thing about focaccia is its versatility. I only topped mine with chopped rosemary this time, but have a look at the different toppings you can choose from;–Β  herbs, caramelised onions, tomatoes, cheese, and even blueberries!

Rosemary Focaccia Bread
(adapted from here)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried basil flakes
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. In large bowl, stir together flour, salt, sugar, yeast, rosemary and basil.
  2. Mix in vegetable oil and water.
  3. When dough has pulled together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat with oil.
  5. Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm place 25 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 220C.
  7. Punch dough down, place on greased baking sheet. Pat dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
  8. Using your knuckle, make indentations in the dough about 1/2-inch apart, then prick dough with fork.
  9. Brush top with olive oil, then sprinkle with more rosemary if you wish.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
(adapted from here)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (I used a mix of button and shitake)
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup flour (add a few tbsp more if you prefer a thicker consistency)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup thickened cream

  1. Lightly saute mushrooms in butter.
  2. Add flour and stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly add stock, stirring until all is incorporated.
  4. Simmer about 10 minutes.
  5. Add cream, stir and serve.

22 thoughts on “rosemary focaccia, in two ways

  1. the mister

    There is a part of me who believes that one of the reasons why I am not married to the mister yet is the fact that he can’t live on my bakes.

    That’s not true! 😦 It’s coz we’re still saving up… 😦 Soon enough, luv…

    It surprises me to no end each time someone says that he’s lucky to have found someone who bakes, because they somehow equate baking to heavenly-bestowed kitchen abilities, that of which I am horridly lacking in.

    That’s not true, either!!! I think your kitchen skills are top – notch! And you make the best mac and cheese I’ve EVER tasted! And I hear sumpthin-a-sumpthin about some ayjem masak merah, man! πŸ˜€

  2. faizah

    there’s two of us here, it seems. i prefer the dear oven to the stove. somehow, the stove is not calling out for me. yet, i hope.

    squared focaccia! that’s a first! =)

  3. happygrub

    I love bread and that now includes your foccacia, cute little fork marks there too. Hey I have a baby shower to attend next Tues, I’m doing so many calls, really too tired to just exist what more bake. Could I place an order please.. Do u do individual packages too for single cupcakes??

  4. ovenhaven Post author

    bie: Haha, you’re always so nice πŸ™‚ Judging from the things I’ve picked up learning to cook, I think we’re gonna eat separate dishes; me with my tom yam, you with your mac & cheese. Oh, but ayam masak merah will unite us πŸ˜›

    faizah: Really? I could never tell! You seem so talented either way πŸ™‚ And yes, I baked them in a square pan πŸ˜›

    happygrub: I think I was a tad too zealous with the fork-poking! As for the cupcakes, I’ve mailed you.

  5. Deeba

    Cant imagine a focaccia in under an hour…of course you grabbed my attention! Loved reading your post…ha ha!! BTW, made the blondies this afternoon…& they came out very yummy! My hub loved them!! Thank you!

  6. Maya

    Oh god! You and ur mister just cho chuweet! It makes me wanna have a bf! heehe:p

    Well, I’m really comfortable with E stove-top coz I have been cooking from a tender age. All these mamis2 and makcik2 always say that whoever who ended up as my hubz is very lucky. I don’t agree with that comment. Being able to cook or do housework is not E most important factor. If some1 wanna marry a woman coz of those so called assets, they might as well get a maid! It’s more as to how she is able to get to know each others hearts and pass through the trials and tribulations of marriage. That’s far more important.

    Somehow I feel that, when we know our responsibilities, we would try our best to fulfil it. Just like you, am sure you gonna end up being a good cook very soon esp since you can bake so so well!I have full faith in you sweetie!!

    Ps: E mushroom soup n focaccia looking great!!!

  7. CourtJ

    Looks great, and easy enough that you may have convinced me to try and make my own bread (as a rule, I never do). I guess I am the opposite of you, I am confident with cooking, but not exactly a baking whiz.

  8. ovenhaven Post author

    Deeba: Yay! Glad to hear your hub loved the blondies πŸ™‚ Give this a try the next time you’re craving for focaccia, but short of time πŸ˜›

    Maya: That’s so true. I actually don’t understand why people like to say that anyway; a man is lucky when he’s with a lady who knows how to cook, or cooks well. Somehow that’s always the first to come to mind, rather than her demeanour, or the way she carries herself. I guess it’s primarily because in our culture, the woman’s role in the marriage is to take care of the husband’s needs, one of which is through his stomach. And thanks for the vote of confidence! πŸ˜›

    CourtJ: Oh I wish I had some of your confidence in cooking! Give the focaccia a try, and who knows, you’ll be on your way to being a baking convert πŸ˜›

  9. ovenhaven Post author

    HHB: If I could have half the bread talent that you have, I’d be making bread my staple food! πŸ˜›

    Helene: Thanks, dearie πŸ™‚

    grace: Thank you, dearie! I always thought only cinnamon could get your attention πŸ˜‰ Hehe.

  10. Syrie

    Looks wonderful. I love the idea of a blueberry topping. I need to pluck up the courage to try this. By the way, you’re writing is fantastic! Best wishes for the new year.

  11. The Purplefoodie

    Hey ovenhaven! That’s seems funny to type when I know your name πŸ˜› I love how cute and dimpled the foccacia looks. I made some after a long time recently and went overboard with the oil thinking it’d be more moist. Silly me! Hehe

  12. ovenhaven Post author

    linda: Haha,thanks, dearie πŸ™‚ And yes, we are saving as fast as we can! πŸ˜›

    Syrie: Thanks, sweetie πŸ™‚ The blueberry topping sounds too good to resist, doesn’t it? Hope you have a great Christmas with your loved ones πŸ™‚

    The Purplefoodie: Hi Purplefoodie! Hahaha πŸ˜› I would totally have gone that way too, but I guess going overboard with the fork pricks is enough πŸ˜› Oh and apparently I got overzealous with the dimples as well ~hehe.

  13. Allison

    I found your blog through the ofmornings community on livejournal, and this bread looks *amazing*! I wish I were more inclined to take the time to cook and bake, so hopefully following your blog will motivate me! πŸ™‚

  14. ovenhaven Post author

    Thanks for dropping by, Allison! Ofmorning is easily becoming my staple diet for the mornings πŸ˜› Give this focaccia a try; I’ve posted them on bakebakebake, and had a couple of people trying them out with success as well πŸ™‚

  15. Pingback: Don’t dream it’s over at Dimple and a Smirk (dot) com

  16. Pingback: Quick Comfort {Recipe: Fast Focaccia} | :: epicurean escapism ::

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