Recipe Thursday: Bread Book – Garden Focaccia

We do all kinds of things with our Sourdough pizza dough: Friday night Pizza (of course, generally a cheese or olive/cheese for the child – with sauce, and a white pizza for us sometimes with mushrooms and basil and ricotta, mmmmm), Stromboli (a PA treat with lots of cured meats/cheese/peppers and olives as sort of an inside out pizza/hot hoagie/calzone type of thing), and lately we’ve been wrapping nitrate-free hot dogs in them for a little ‘pigs in a blanket’ action. And now we’re dreaming of a Garden Focaccia.

It’s almost Mother’s Day and since the apple blossoms will likely show by the end of the week, and our baby (meat) chicks just arrived we are quite the place to be. How better than to let folks wander the orchard, get some nibbles, and enjoy this moment of Spring loveliness with us. I spend a little relaxation time on Pinterest getting garden/cooking/craft ideas and am just in love with the picturesque bread canvases out there. Shooting flowers made of Red Bell Pepper slices, Red Onion blooms, Scallion stems and Basil leaves – whatever we can find to make lovely garden pictures. I might be thinking Apple trees made from Asparagus spears and Sun-dried Tomatoes with Spinach leaves and Garlic Buds, maybe a flower garden below it made from edible Flowers (Forsythia, Dandelion, Violet, Pansy – just a few in season right now) with a Yellow Pepper Sun. So many ideas, I’ll probably have to make a couple!

Use any kind of pre-made pizza dough or make your own (non-Sourdough is easy and fun – 6 ingredients: 3 cups flour mixed with 1/2 tsp sea salt in a pile, make a well in the center and add proofed 1/2 pkt (or 2 tsp) yeast in 1 cup tepid water with 1 Tbsp sugar or honey until foamy then add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, using a strong fork to whisk flour slowly into liquid center until all is incorporated, then using your hands work/knead the dough until it all comes together into a ball – using sprinkles of water if needed, 1 tsp Olive Oil a Medium bowl – roll the ball all around in the oil, then leaving ball in bowl, cover with damp towel and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled. Punch down dough, roll into a ball again and let rest for 10 min, then shape and build garden or pizza!). We keep ours frozen and then thaw for a couple of hours until ready to use.

On a sheet pan with parchment paper and a little oil (or on a baking stone with cornmeal), stretch out dough to form a ‘canvas’ or rectangular pizza, add ‘focaccia dimples’ and a little salt – add shapes of veggies or meat or cheese, pressing items into the dough a bit but don’t be afraid to crowd (some will shrink), then brush everything with Olive Oil, shake seeds or spices on, then bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 25-30 min until golden brown and puffy. Cool on a baking rack for about 15 min, then cut into squares and serve (maybe with fresh Ricotta!). For a more detailed version/recipe, check out LavenderandLovage for their lovely version.

Enjoy your Spring, whatever the occasion.

Published by Rachael M Rollson

creative life-learner

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