Friday, May 18, 2012

Parmesan Garlic Basil Focaccia Bread




I may have mentioned the magic in the heavenly smell of fresh baked bread.

I may have also mentioned the story of moving into the house I'm in now, where the only kitchen item I owned was a jar of yeast.

To say the least, I like bread.

And I really like focaccia bread.

My favorite focaccia can be found at a little hole in the wall sandwich shop  in Big Bear called Amangela's. The focaccia bread there is literally melt-in-your-mouth to-die-for. Every time I get the chance, I go there and get a french dip on the garlic basil focaccia and I enjoy three minutes of heaven as I inhale the whole thing by myself.

I did my very best to recreate the experience for myself in the comfort of my own home, and I think I came pretty close.


Parmesan Garlic Basil Focaccia Bread


Ingredients:



  • 1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
Directions:
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. It will be foamy.
  2. Add flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic powder, dried basil, and and salt. Knead until well combined.
  3. Form dough into a ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Put it in a warm area and let rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size. 
  4. Knead dough down and cut it into eight equal-ish sections.
  5. Form sections into balls.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  7. Place balls on lightly oiled baking sheet, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Poke small dimples into the dough with your fingers, and drizzle dough with olive oil.
  9. Sprinkle dough with parmesan, fresh garlic, fresh basil, and sea salt.
  10. Bake 15-25 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or use as sandwiches

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