Archive for July 4th, 2009

Two Kinds of Focaccia

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We got this lovely recipe for fluffy focaccia bread from Sarah Raven’s cookbook In Season which is absolutely gorgeous and mouthwatering in every way. Preceeding every recipe is a short personal story, and the book is filled with her own recipes as well as those from friends and family. There are brightly colored photographs of her foods, as well as pictures of Sarah working on her farm and harvesting the fresh produce seen in all her dishes. I also love the way the book is organized; it is seasonal, and for me, in an age and place (California) where nearly all produce can be grown fairly locally in all times of year, this way of reference is very refreshing. It certainly makes me think about what ingredients I’m using and when. For instance, if you want to work with a specific fruit or vegetable, you have to think carefully about what season it is ‘traditionally’ grown in and then you can find a host of recipes to work with. Sarah Raven lists this focaccia recipe as a Sungold Tomato Focaccia (her favorite type of cherry tomato), and it is under the “July/August” section in her book, where she writes that “Good tomatoes are the defining taste of summer, when their round, juicy softness comes into its own. The more of that justpicked, slightly acrid – almost poisonous – smell that they have the better. They are, after all, related to deadly nightshade…”

This recipe is very easy; however, like most yeasted breads, it just requires that you have the time and patience to let it rise. This one has multiple rising times, so it takes awhile. But it is certainly worth the wait, for the finished bread (and baking aroma) is amazing! We used a bit less oil than the recipe called for, and so I’ve written it how we made it below. We also doubled the recipe, and made one loaf savory and one a bit sweeter, which was a nice contrast! The toppings we used for each loaf is also written below, but the bread ingredient amounts are listed for only one loaf of bread.

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