We have been making breads galore lately – all this time at home translates into a really ideal situation for making yeasted breads. How nice is it that we can be working at our home desk, and take a quick break to walk downstairs to fill up the coffee cup and tend to a loaf rising on the counter?
Okay, truth be told, I am not the most experienced bread baker. I have a reputation for not paying enough attention to my water temps and killing my yeast, and I am also not the most patient person out there either. So, when I look for a bread recipe, I want one that is easy to make, and also isn’t going to occupy days of my life to get it to turn out right.
Which leads me to this recipe, which I discovered on the blog “Accidental Happy Baker“. I was drawn to this recipe for not only its simplicity, but also because of the fact that it can be accomplished start to finish same day, where other breads have that whole overnight thing going on. On a normal work day, I would start it as I arrive home, then get settled a little, prep dinner, and it will be going in the oven before you know it.
If you are looking for something to pair this bread with, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this creamy scallop and bacon dish – it is so indulgent and this is the exact right type of bread to soak up all your sauce
1 C water
2 T butter, softened
1 t salt
2¼- 2⅔ C unbleached all purpose flour
2¼ t instant yeast
2 T melted butter
½ t coarse ground garlic salt
1 T dried parsley
⅓ C Asiago, Parmesan, or Romano cheese
Heat water until warm (about 105-115 degrees). The way I check my water when making yeast breads is by testing the water on the inside of my wrist like you would a baby’s bottle. The water should feel just warm and comfortable, not hot.
Pour the water into a large bowl and add yeast, stirring with a fork until it dissolves in. Add to this 2¼ cups flour, 2 tablespoons of very soft butter, and the salt. Mix until a soft dough forms, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough with a push turn method, dusting with flour when needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface. While kneading the dough, add in additional flour about a tablespoon at a time or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about 5-10 minutes of kneading. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 10 minutes.
After resting, place the dough onto a greased baking sheet. Using your hands, pat the dough into about a 12 inch circle. Cover again with greased plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes.)
When the dough has risen, using your finger tips, poke ½ to ¾ inch deep holes throughout the dough, spacing the holes about an inch or 2 apart. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter, making sure to get some on the top of the focaccia bread and down in the holes as well. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the garlic salt, parsley, and shredded cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until nice and golden brown. Serve hot.
If I have leftovers, I love to slice it through the middle and use to make lunch sandwiches the next day. It is fantastic with just some turkey, mayo and mustard! I hope you found this easy to make, and enjoyed it as much as we do!
X.O. – Abbey Co.
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