Yeast Breads

Focaccia

Focaccia
 
Weigh Watchers New Complete Cookbook
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 envelope (1 Tbsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp. lukewarm (105-115⁰ F) water
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Topping, as desired (recipes follow)
Instructions
Food processor directions:
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and salt. With the machine running, scrape the yeast mixture through the feed tube just until the dough forms a ball. Knead the dough by pulsing 30 times, the dough will still be sticky.
  3. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray; place the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Punch down the dough. Flour your hands and form the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking sheet and press it into a 10" circle. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425⁰. Without piercing the dough, make dimples all over it with your fingertips; cover with the topping. Bake on the center oven rack until browned, 15-20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Hand directions:
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, the whole-wheat flour and the salt. (If using rapid-rise yeast, skip step 1 and add yeast to the flour mixture.)
  3. Heat the water to lukewarm. Pour over flour mixture and mix with electric beaters, or by hand until well mixed. Stir in the rest of the flour, all at once, and mix until all flour is incorporated.
  4. Turn out onto lightly floured, or oiled board, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  5. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray; place the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour. (If using rapid-rise, this step may be shortened to 10 minutes resting time, especially if short on time.)
  6. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Punch down the dough. Flour your hands and form the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking sheet and press it into a 10" circle. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425⁰. Without piercing the dough, make dimples all over it with your fingertips; cover with the topping. Bake on the center oven rack until browned, 15-20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Bread Mixer directions:
  1. In mixer bowl place 1 cup all-purpose flour, the whole-wheat flour and the salt. With mixer running, add lukewarm water.
  2. Add yeast, followed by rest of flour.
  3. Knead, following manufacturer’s instructions for your machine.
  4. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray; place the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour. (If using rapid-rise, this step may be shortened to 10 minutes resting time, especially if short on time.)
  5. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Punch down the dough. Flour your hands and form the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking sheet and press it into a 10" circle. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425⁰. Without piercing the dough, make dimples all over it with your fingertips; cover with the topping. Bake on the center oven rack until browned, 15-20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Notes
Add wheat gluten to the bread, according to package directions. It conditions the dough.

When grinding wheat for bread, add a handful of barley as you grind. The barley acts as a dough conditioner.

When using rapid rise yeast, you can often eliminate the first rising. After kneading, let rest for 10 minutes, to relax the dough, and then shape. Let rise, and then bake.

When using rapid rise yeast, be careful of the water temperature. It needs to be about 5 degrees cooler than using regular rise yeast.

Adding eggs to roll dough makes it more tender.

Using milk instead of water makes a more tender bread.

If, after adding all the recommended flour, the dough is still sticky, try using oil on the counter for kneading.

Quick rising tips:
1. Turn on oven for 1 min. Turn off. Place bread in oven, and let rise with the door closed.
2. Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil in the micro, then using a very low power, and leaving the water in the micro, add the dough, and let rise.
3. Wrap in a heating pad.

Brush with butter before baking for a tender crust—after baking for a shiny crust.
If you double the yeast, you can put the dough in the fridge after kneading. The next day or so, take out, shape, let rise, and then bake. It will take longer to rise, because it is cold. But be patient.
Adding soy powder increases the protein content of the bread as well as conditions the dough. Replace about ½ cup of flour with the soy powder. Works great.

 

 

Potato-Tomato Topping
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 4 sun-dried tomato halves (not oil-packed),
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 new potatoes, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 1½ tsp. chopped basil
  • 1½ tsp. chopped parsley
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4½ tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over the tomatoes. Let stand about 10 minutes; drain well. Add the onion, garlic and oil; toss to coat. Add the potatoes, basil, parsley and pepper; toss gently.
  2. Distribute over the focaccia crust; sprinkle with the cheese. Bake as directed.

 
Feta Cheese Topping
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Ingredients
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ⅓ cup crumbled drained feta cheese
  • 6 large black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, toss the shallots, garlic and oil. Stir in the cheese, olives, parsley, oregano, and pepper.
  2. Distribute over the focaccia crust. Bake as directed.

 
Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Topping
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 roasted red pepper (from a jar), thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Sauté the onion and sugar until the onion is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pepper.
  2. Distribute over the focaccia crust. Bake as directed.