Monday, June 6, 2011

Rosemary Focaccia Bread with (optional) Garden Fresh Bruschetta

Now, I know the picture of this bread looks like no more than bagel ripped in half, but let me tell you... this bread is amazing!  When it was fresh out of the oven and slightly cooled, we ripped into it and dipped it in olive oil sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.  Good golly miss Molly!  I had a second loaf that I didn't think we would eat, and I was taking it to a neighbor.  As I was walking out the door, my husband said, "If they're not home, can I please have it?"  Unfortunately for him, the neighbor was home and gladly accepted a loaf a warm freshly baked bread.  This is one of those recipes that I will make over and over and over again.  I could not get enough of this stuff!  If I wasn't watching what I was eating, I would have devoured this whole thing myself!  This bread would be the perfect companion to any Italian meal.  I honestly think it was just as good or better than any restaurant bread I've had.  Thank the first Star Wars trilogy that I found this recipe!

 Rosemary Focaccia Bread
source: Our Best Bites cookbook- It is also on the "Our Best Bites" Website

1 c warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 T sugar
2 1/4- 2 1/2 c flour, divided
1 t kosher salt
2 T rosemary, divided
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t garlic powder
2 T olive oil, divided

Garden Fresh Bruschetta
source: my head and my garden

2 roma tomatoes, sliced, seeded, and chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 basil leaves, sliced thin
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
salt and pepper

Place the water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine.  Let it sit for 10 minutes until it gets all bubbly, foamy, and freaky looking. While it is working it magic, combine 2 c flour, salt, 1 1/2 T rosemary, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl.  Pour the yeast into a bread machine.  If you don't have one, pour it into a large bowl.  Add the flour mixture and 1 T olive oil. 

 Mix well.  Continue to add the remaining flour until you have a soft, sticky dough.  And when I say sticky, I mean sticky!  Let the dough rise for an hour. 
 Place the dough onto a floured surface and break it into two equal parts.  Place them on a greased baking sheet.  I put mine on a half baking sheet, and it was perfect.    Let them rise until they are doubled in size- about 45 minutes. 
 Brush them with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining rosemary and some sea salt.  My sprinkling was pathetic, but it wouldn't stick since it wasn't the ground rosemary. 

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Serve as soon as possible! 
 To make the bruschetta, just comine all the ingredients and serve atop torn pieces of the bread.  It tasted like Heaven! 
And if anyone out there is wondering how my exercise excursion is going, I've been working out and eating better for two weeks, and I've lost 7 1/2 inches and five pounds!  woohoo!  I'm sorry I'm not able to blog as often as I'd like, but I'm kissing those pounds goodbye and loving every second of it!  :) 

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