I typically feel guilty when my blog post is more of a short recipe share, but such postings often end up being more popular than the verbose treatises I agonize over for hours. Hmm, I sense a learning moment. So here we go with this Monday's recipe in brief.
Every other Sunday afternoon you'll find me whipping up something for the Family Life potluck/bible study at our rector's house. I would like to say I plan ahead, but to date, it has never happened. The get-together begins at 5 o'clock and my preparations often begin around 4.
Yesterday, I went with one of my tried and true recipes: baking powder focaccia. No yeast, no kneading, no rising, no kidding--this is a quickbread interpretation of focaccia, one that would likely make Mario Batali groan but makes everyone else grin.
I used what I had on hand: fresh rosemary from the garden paired with thinly sliced garlic for one and tomato, cracked black pepper and goat cheese bits (that were in need of immediate salvaging) for the other. But like any focaccia, you can take the toppings in whichever direction you choose; leave it plain for sandwiches, or make minis, too. Last, the white whole wheat flour may be swapped out for whole grain spelt flour. Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Baking Powder Focaccia
With some baking powder in place of yeast, this focaccia is anything but traditional. Nevertheless, it is irresistible. Like the original, the dough is finished with the delicate crunch of coarse sea salt and is puckered to allow small pockets of flavorful olive oil to remain once the bread is baked.
Makes 16 slices
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
13- by 9-inch (33 by 23 cm) glass or metal baking pan, oiled (preferably olive oil)
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1-1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and fine sea salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in water and 1 tbsp of the oil until blended.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute to develop the gluten slightly.
3. Transfer dough to prepared pan and pat into a 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rectangle (it will not cover entire bottom of pan). Poke indentations all over top of bread with your fingertips. Brush or drizzle dough with the remaining oil and sprinkle with rosemary and coarse sea salt
4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool. Serve warm or let cool completely.
* Store the cooled focaccia, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Variation: Spelt Baking Powder Focaccia
Replace the white whole wheat flour with an equal amount of whole grain spelt flour.
Toppings in Photos
Add these or any other toppings to the uncooked dough and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt as directed above.
Rosemary-Garlic: 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary plus 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves (push the slices of garlic into the dough)
Tomato-Black Pepper: 1 medium, thinly sliced tomato (pat with paper towels to remove some excess moisture before placing on the dough), some bits of leftover goat cheese (about 1/4 cup—completely optional) and about 5 turns of freshly cracked black pepper.