Zvi and I made our next recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible today. It was a lovely focaccia that featured our very own homegrown rosemary and thyme. Zvi says "too bad it wasn't made with our own flour - maybe next year." Haha, that's what he thinks! I'm really not planning on growing wheat in my backyard.

There are a couple of things I would do differently when making this again. I already added in thyme and more salt than was called for, but I think even more herbs would be really nice. The biggest change is that I used a large baking sheet for the focaccia, leaving a smaller baking sheet to go into the oven ... this may have contributed to a bit of uneven browning and heat distribution on the bottom. Next time I will put the dough into the smaller one and put that on top of the bigger one. Either that or buy another baking sheet in the large size. Anyway, these are just minor details. Overall, it turned out really great.

The dough needs about 6 hours of total rising time so it's best to start this process in the morning if possible, or at least before 4pm which is when I started our process. Oh well - a little taste of focaccia at 10:15pm never hurt anyone!

Zvi and I both also thought that the dough would make for an excellent pizza dough. We could both totally imagine it spread with some tomato sauce, some oregano and basil and maybe some buffalo mozzarella. Except for the cheese we could make it all from homegrown ingredients. Another time.

390 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (2 3/4 cups)
1.2 grams instant yeast (3/8 tsp)
442 grams room temperature water (2 cups minus 2 tbsp)
3 grams sugar (3/4 tsp)
5.2 grams salt (3/4 tsp)
36 grams extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp plus 2 tsp divided)
2 tsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp coarse sea salt

1. Mix Dough. Using the paddle attachment in a KitchenAid mixer, combine flour and yeast on speed 2. Gradually add water until the dough comes together - about 3 minutes. Increase speed to 4 and beat until dough changes from a wet mixture to a smooth ball - about 18 minutes. Add sugar and salt and beat until they are well incorporated - about 3 minutes.

Mixing Focaccia Dough

2. Let Dough Rise. Using an oiled spatula, scrape dough into a medium sized, lightly greased bowl. Dough will have consistency of melted mozzarella. Lightly spray oil on top of dough. Cover bowl. Allow to rise in a warm spot for about 4 hours until dough has at least doubled.

3. Shape Dough And Let Rise Again. Coat a baking sheet with a heaping tbsp of olive oil. Pour dough onto it. Coat hands with some of the remaining olive oil and spread dough as thinly as possible without tearing it. Let it relax for 10 minutes then spread it to almost fill the baking sheet. Make sure to maintain the bubbles in the dough. Cover baking sheet with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until volume has doubled.

4. Preheat Oven. Place another baking sheet on lowest level in oven. Preheat oven to 475F 1 hour before baking (I think we only did half and hour).

5. Sprinkle Toppings And Bake. Uncover dough and drizzle remaining olive oil evenly over top. With oiled fingertips, deeply dimple the dough. Sprinkle evenly with herbs and salt. Place baking sheet directly onto baking sheet already in oven. Bake until golden - about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
Focaccia Out Of Oven
Freshly Baked Focaccia

In other news, I'm so glad Bayla learned to put her head down sideways when she's on her tummy. She's started rolling over in her crib at night but at least now that doesn't make her wake up screaming because her face is planted flat into the mattress. Of course, she does sometimes manage to get her entire leg stuck through the slats in the crib. No clue how this even happens. It really is amazing watching her do tummy time though because she is so much stronger than when she started out. Not only can she hold her arms straight and lift her whole chest off the ground, she pretty much lifts her hips up too. It's like she's doing the cobra pose from yoga. Great for her - I'm not sure I can hold the pose for as long as she can at this point. It looks like she's at the beginning stages of figuring out how to crawl. (OMG, which means we need to tidy up the house ASAP and get a cleaning lady!!) She hasn't quite figured out how to consistently role onto her back yet either but she can spin around 360 while on her tummy. I love watching her go around and around playing with various toys as she goes. Am I supposed to be this by my child?! Here's a picture of her enjoying some sweet potatoes today. This was taken before things got really messy :-)
Sweet Potato Mess