Fast and Easy Focaccia

Spring in Wisconsin means there is yard work to do. This weekend I was pulling buckthorn, dividing perennials and getting the garden ready.  Body hurts and I want some comfort food. We had decided on leftovers for today and I chose the pasta and meatball bake. However I  wanted some fresh bread  or bread sticks to go with it.    Gardening and sourdough bread baking dont really go together.  Rise & fold times are missed and cleaning off all of the dirt before playing with the dough is a pain.  However I still craved fresh bread.

After showering and applying a hot pack to my back, I was surfing the internet searching for ideas.  At this point it was 5PM and teal was getting hungry and would not tolerate a long drawn out process (neither would I- I wanted near instant reward).  One stood out as a quick from scratch idea: https://thesaltymarshmallow.com/quick-homemade-cheese-bread/ .   This would morph into a sort of foccacia bread.

Quick

Preheat oven to proofing temperature  approx.  100F

1 Tbsp instant yeast   (I use SAF instant)

1 tsp sugar

1 c luke warm water

Mix and rest for 10 min – it should start to foam in the mixer bowl.

Add 2 Tbsp Olive oil and scant 1 tps salt.

Slowly add about 2.5 c flour  – I used bread flour. Add the rfirst 2 cups and assess the consistency . Add more as needed so that it pullsa away from the side of the bowl and mix for 5 min on 2 (second slowest speed) on the Kitchenaid mixer.

Cover the bowl with a towel and place in the oven for 30 min.

Get your sheet pan ready. Slather with olive oil (including the sides)  about 1.5 -2 Tbsp.   Lightly cover with corn meal

When the 30 min has passed the dough should easily have doubled (thanks to lots of well fed yeast) . Start working it out on the counter with a little flour, (no rolling pin) like you see the pizza guys do.  Move it to the sheet pan and stretch / push to fit (my pizzas are normally circular so it needed reshaping.

Preheat oven to 450F

Add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil to the top and spread around and then sprinkle on the goodies:

5-8 Tbsp grated parmesan (yes the green can cheese)

1-3 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 Tbsp dried rosemary crushed

1/4 c shredded cheese .    I did not want “cheese bread” but if so inclined, cover it with a lot more  (4 cheese mexican and mozzarella mixed if going heavy)

Rest on the counter (bread not me) until 50 min point.

Place in the oven for 10-12 min until lightly browned. If the middle bubbles way up, get one of the kids to stab it and let the steam out.

Remove and place on a rack to cool enough so you can rip off pieces without burning yourself too much.  Enjoy with a good beer or wine (and maybe forget about the rest of  the  dinner) .   And it was done by 6 PM!  No frozen or tube food involved.