Monday, February 25, 2008

Foccacia Mania!

Another weekend of wild weather and I'm back in the kitchen, cleaning and cooking. Ron and I went to Los Angeles the previous weekend, followed by a crazy week of not much cooking and absolutely no cleaning! So I'm making up for lost time.

And what better way than to make homemade bread. Foccacia, actually! I ran out of bread flour, so it turned into a part-whole wheat Foccacia. Here's to health, and practicality. No way I was going to buzz to the market in the middle of bread-making, not to mention the horizontal rain!

Like a good girl, I pre-heated the oven and
baking stone well in advance. I was ready to place my beautiful Foccacia dough into that pre-heated oven. See it there? All glistening with olive oil in its little dimples!

So, other than the substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour and an accidental extra 2 teaspoons of sugar, I followed the recipe from Food & Wine EXACTLY.

You KNOW this is a rarity for me.

But THIS is how the trouble began....

The directions said to put the pan into the oven on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Which I did. THEN, the directions said to THROW 1/4 CUP OF ICE WATER ONTO THE OVEN FLOOR, and close the door. Which I did.

Then, like a busy girl, I set the timer for the recommended 30 minutes and went to do some graphics work on my computer. After about 10 minutes, Ron came in and said, "Wow! I can smell that Foccacia bread. Smells fabulous!" Indeed.

So, like a frantic girl, I ran to the kitchen, turned the lights on high, and threw open the oven. My heart sank as I looked at the already-golden brown crust. I peered down at the oven thermometer: it was spiking over 550 degrees! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I turned the oven down to 350, closed the door, and shakily reset the timer.

I took the Foccacia out a full 8 minutes before the minimum time for fear it would burn all around, and placed it on two wire racks. SAVED! 

The crust is a bit thick due to the HEAT SPIKE (thanks a lot for the ice water tip, Food & Wine "professional gourmet baking lady") but the inside is sweet and hearty with garlic, herbs and onions!

For real, thanks, Honey, for smelling that bread and saving our Foccacia!

We've already eaten 1/3 and shared some with fave eaters, Bob and the boys!

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