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Friday, 10 August 2012

Five Star Bread Recipe from Miriam's Mom, Eileen Little

Recipe Title:  Best Ever Bread Recipe from Miriam’s Mom, Eileen Little
(for Herb Focaccia, French bread or Cinnamon buns)

Original Recipe By: Eileen Little

Recorded and adapted by: Miriam Borys
1st proof  (letting dough rise)

3 pkg. instant yeast (3 X 8g or 7 tsp.)
2 ½ cup of warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup for drizzling
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 egg
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour + flour for kneading
Dry herbs of choice (1 tbsp. each of rosemary, thyme, oregano)

Cracked salt for the top of the focaccia

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, egg and warm water.
Add yeast and stir. Leave this mixture in a warm place 
to allow the yeast to activate (the yeast bubbles will appear 
on the surface).
Add 5 cups of flour, salt and herbs.
shape dough & add toppings
Mix until the bread dough comes together into a ball.
Transfer to a workable surface and knead for 4-5 minutes, adding flour so that the dough does not stick to the surface.
Once the dough is smooth, form into a large ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover with parchment or a tea towel. This is the first rise and the dough needs to double in size. This takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch down the ball of dough and form the dough into whatever shape is desired. For focaccia place the bread dough onto an oiled baking sheet and pull the dough so that it stretches into a large rectangle shape (see photo). Once the dough is shaped, make indentations your fingertips on the surface of the dough (this is to allow the olive oil to pool).
Drizzle olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs of your choice (Italian seasoning works well) and sprinkle salt over entire surface.
2nd proof
Allow to rise for the 2nd time until the dough has risen above the baking sheet (doubles in size again).
In preparation, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
Bake focaccia for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with a dipping bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkled with dried or fresh herbs.
baked focaccia

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