Lately I started using dough making as a therapy. Since I have this huge wave of inspiration and will, I started writing my thesis, like for realz, and taking into consideration I have too many obligations as it is, like everyone, because I can’t say no, I need something to release the tension. And so dough making became my way of meditation. You mix it, knead it, squeeze it, pound it (boy this sounds wrong), pinch it and then leave it to rest. In meantime your read thesis literature or in my case try to read one page of Turkish mumbo jumbo in 30 minutes. Then you knead the dough again and leave it to rest and have fun times with Turkish – English dictionary. And round and the round it goes. Because of this dough I became addicted to focaccia, a beautiful Italian bread type of thing. I made it 3 times during last 10 days and once it was a disaster, twice it was a success. And yesterday’s was the best I made so far. I have to warn you in advance, for this recipe you need time, like 3,5 – 4 hrs. So I suggest you to make it over weekends or on the days when you’re home.
- 500 g of flour ( I mix it 50:50 normal and integral, although the original is made from normal type of flour)
- 2 packages of dry yeast or 15 g of fresh one
- one table spoon of sugar cca 15 g
- one table spoon of salt cca 15 g
- 350 ml of tepid water
- 2 -3 cloves of garlic
- 1 – 2 table spoons of rosemary
- olive oil
- Melt the yeast in 150 ml of tepid water, add the sugar, mix and leave to rest for 15 minutes so that yeast can activate.
- While the yeast is yeasting put the flour on a nice flat wooden surface and add salt. Make a little hill.
- Make a hole in the middle of the hill, like a little crater and pour the yeast inside. Start making the dough while you add the rest of the tepid water.
- Mix, knead and squeeze it for about ten minutes until you get a nice ball of happiness. Looks like this:
- Pour one table spoon of olive oil in a clean bowl and place the dough on it. Make an X on the top side with a knife, cover with a cloth and leave to rest. Make yourself a cup of coffee, clean the windows etc.
- After 90 minutes mix and knead the dough again, hard, really beat and punch it. Put some effort in it. Do it for 5 – 7 minutes. Then put in a bowl again (without oil this time) and leave it rest for 60 – 90 minutes. It has to double in size.
- Meanwhile make the dressing: mix 2 -3 table spoons of olive oil with 2 pinches of salt (the big crystal one), 1 table spoon of rosemary and 3 cloves of garlic. Mix in pestle and mortar and leave it like that, so that all of the flavors get combined.
- Drizzle some olive oil on he bottom of the tray and place the dough inside. With your finger tips spread the dough all over the tray and make visible holes in the dough. Like poke it. If you want thinner crunchy crust take a bigger tray and spread the dough this as pizza dough. If you want bigger, jujier bits put it into smaller tray. It will be softer. Spread the olive and spice mixture on top and preheat the oven to 180 Celsius degrees. I usually add a bit more salt on top, pinch of black pepper and sweet paprika, sometime even a bit of chili powder.
- Bake it for cca 30 minutes until it becomes beautifully golden – brown, a bit crunchy on the outside and super soft on the inside.
Eat it while it’s hot because it’s tastes the best that way, the jujiest and softest. You can eat it with some sort of fresh cheese even though it’s a real treat to eat it as it is.