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Friday, January 6, 2012

Facing my fears

I have admitted here before that I'm much better (and more confident) with cooking than I am with baking.  Part of the reason why I chose to bake everyone's birthday cakes when I started this blog was to fine tune my baking skills, which in my opinion needed a lot of sharpening.  And still do!

What I don't think I've mentioned, however, is my fear of yeast.  I've been writing this blog for over a year, and I'm not sure if anyone's noticed that I haven't baked one thing that included it.  Until now.

A few weeks ago I got my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month.  I perused the blog that was given to me and came across what I considered to be an easy bread recipe.  Yes, it required yeast, but I mentally prepared myself for it.  So, off I went to Trader Joe's, and purchased my first packet of yeast.

The next day, I got an email from SRC that our assignment for the month was canceled.  But, the trooper that I am decided to continue with facing my fear and bake the bread.  Yeah...a woman on a mission.  Go me!

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

The truth is, you can buy amazing bread in this area, like, the best pretty much anywhere...so, I guess if that weren't the case I'd have done this sooner.  I'm not sure how often I'll be doing it, but at least now I'll have a bit more confidence :)

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia
from The Cookaholic Wife

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water (105 degrees)
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
sea salt and cracked black pepper for sprinkling

Heat oil and garlic in a small saucepan until garlic begins to brown.  Remove from heat, discard garlic and let oil cool.

In bowl of stand mixer, add water and yeast.  Add half of oil.  In large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Attach dough hook to stand mixer and and add half of flour mixture to mixing bowl.

Continue adding flour on low speed until dough ball starts to form.  Increase speed to medium and mix until dough becomes soft and slightly sticky, about 5 minutes.

Oil a large bowl and transfer dough to it.  Turn dough so oil covers both sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with some of the remaining oil.  Remove bread from bowl and gently press into pan, working it out so it reaches all edges.  Lightly coat a piece of plastic wrap with oil and cover dough again.  Let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Using your fingertips, make indentations around dough in various places.  Drizzle garlic oil over dough, then sprinkle with salt and pepper, and finally rosemary.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Linked to: Bread Recipe Link Up

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At January 6, 2012 at 8:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks delish! I am scared of baking with yeast too. I leave the pizza dough making to the hubby.

the secret recip group seems like fun, how do you join?

At January 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Go to http://secretrecipeclub.com/ - there should be details regarding how to join!

At January 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM , Anonymous Nicole, RD said...

Yeast is intimidating! It's so...persnickety and unpredicatable! The foccacia looks amazing! I didn't like foccacia until I made homemade...so much better!

At January 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Yeast scares the crap out of me!

At January 7, 2012 at 7:37 AM , Blogger Joanne said...

I used to be scared of baking with yeast...until I made a resolution two years ago to not buy bread and only bake my own for a year! Now it's just kind of second nature. It definitely gets easier the more you do it! (And tastier!) this bread sounds delicious!

At January 8, 2012 at 7:43 PM , Anonymous danielle said...

I'm terrified of yeast-especially since my first 2 attempts were FAILS!! Just bought more on a whim. Will try this recipe! Thanks Melissa!!

At January 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Mom said...

This must be a family phobia...but now that you've conquered it, I might just have to try it as well. Wish me luck!

At February 3, 2012 at 8:44 AM , Anonymous Wendy (The Local Cook) said...

This looks delicious, love rosemary. Congrats on conquering your fear of yeast! And, thank you for linking up at The Local Cook.

At February 3, 2012 at 9:15 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Can't go wrong with garlic right in the bread, can you? It looks like it tastes wonderful.


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