Thursday, September 24, 2009

Soup and Bread

In continuing the cheap dinners, I made bread and soup. All with items we had on hand, unplanned! No shopping list for these items. Rosemary from the garden. A squash from the last farmer's market...everything else was here.

Rosemary & Caramelized Onion Focaccia and Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque!

A great fall meal.

My first note...I LOVED the bread. The soup was great, but it was missing something...and I know what it was. Continue.

The bread is super easy. Flour, water, yeast, olive oil. Mix, rise, stretch and dimple! Then you add some rosemary and caramelized onions on top with a little sea salt for flavor and crunch.

Back until golden and delish. I would have liked a little more topping, but as it was, I loved it. We ate half a pan the first night and the next day ate almost the rest of it!

The outside bottom crust gets crispy from the olive oil, almost like a pizza crust. It's amazing and paired perfectly well with the soup...

Butternut Squash & Apple Bisque. This was really good, but I felt something was missing. It wasn't salt or flavor, everything was there. I think I figured it out after the fact. I need a hint of some acid. Next time a little apple cider vinegar, I think that will give the POP I was looking for.

Rosemary & Caramelized Onion Focaccia
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small to medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Special equipment: a standing electric mixer with paddle attachment and dough hook

Stir together 1 2/3 cups lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups flour, 1/4 cup oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Press dough evenly into a generously oiled 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Saute onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until soft and they start to caramelize. Stir in the rosemary with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, let cool.

Make shallow indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then sprinkle the onions and rosemary, letting them pool in the indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Immediately invert a rack over pan and flip focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.


DancerInDC said...

The soup really worked for me - I think my taste buds were responding well to the earthiness. Subtly sweet and a tad spicy.

The bread was a great pairing, providing some extra salt. It was great the day after, but I would be wary of keeping it longer than that.

Em said...

I love the photo of the unbaked bread. You can just see how well it's going to turn out. Also, it looks like a pillow and makes me want to lie down on it. Is that weird? :)

ScottE. said...

the nice thing with the dough, it's so soft, you want to lay your head in's a little oily though, so it might be more of a mess than you want to deal with.