Friday, December 9, 2011

Busy Sewing and Focaccia

I wanted to finish more of the Kindle pouches, so I've been busy sewing. These (and more) are now in my Etsy shop!

I've had a few custom orders come in, so I've been working on those as well.

Some friends came over yesterday and I made this yummy focaccia. It really was the best one I've ever eaten. The dough has potato in it, so that and the combination of olive oil made it silky and moist. YUM!

Oh! I ordered cheese from the Nasonville Dairy in Wisconsin. Normally when I visit Wisconsin I stop at the factory in Willard where the blue cheese is made. It's worth ordering on-line because it is still way cheaper, even with shipping, than the cheese I can get here. I was a little worried about the delivery, though, because we were having -12 degree nights with highs of single digits. I was home when the delivery truck drove up. Good thing.

Blue Cheese-Bacon Focaccia

2 1/4 tsp. (1 pkg) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
1 T. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 T extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
1 cup riced or mashed boiled, peeled potatoes
5 oz. bacon (about 4 thick-cut strips) cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
1 T fresh rosemary springs

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let sit until foamy.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, 6 T oil, potatoes and 1 cup warm water. Mix and then knead the dough until smooth and elastic - or do what I do and put it all in your Kitchen-aid mixer and mix it for about 5 or 8 minutes. Take it out of the mixer and knead on a floured surface a little to smooth everything out. The dough should be soft and elastic.

Brush a large bowl with olive oil and put the kneaded bread into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet until it is light golden, but not crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 425F. Brush a 17x11x1 baking sheet with oil. Press dough into pan. Press with your fingertips all over, forming dimples. Drizzle remaining 2 T oil over.

Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over, then bacon and rosemary. Return to oven and bake until golden brown 12-15 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan. Slide bread onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice into 2x1 inch pieces. Eat it with wine or your happy hour cocktail!

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