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Bento Recipe: Focaccia


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bubblyI was introduced to focaccia by Wendy's "Frescatta" sandwiches. They were much better than I expected because of the unusual, tasty bread. Some online research revealed that said bread is focaccia (Wendy's just calls it "artesian bread," which is a category of bread, not a specific kind) and furthermore that it's quite easy to make. I didn't even use my bread machine, that's how simple it is.

What you need (separated by stages):

    1 tsp of sugar
    1 (.25 ounce, 1/2 tbsp) package of yeast
    1/3 cup warm water

    2 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
    more water

    1-2 tbsp of olive oil
    1/4 tsp salt

Mix the sugar, warm water, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast gets foamy.

Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. When it's as mixed as it's going to get, add in some more water, a tablespoon at a time, and stir some more. Continue doing this until no loose "flour gravel" is left and the dough is one ball. Dump the dough onto a floured working surface and knead it for a minute or two, until the texture gets reasonably even.

Grease a second bowl with olive oil. Put the doughball in this bowl and swirl it around to coat it with the oil. Then cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rise until it's doubled in size, 30-45 minutes. During the latter part of the rise preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Punch the dough down by mashing your fist into it until it deflates. Dump it onto your working surface again and knead it for a minute or so. Then roll or otherwise flatten it into a sheet about an inch thick. Cut it into serving-sized pieces or transfer the whole thing to an oiled cookie sheet to cook in one piece. Brush it with olive oil, then drizzle the salt over it, a pinch at a time, with your fingers.

Time for baking. If you hold off 15 minutes to let it rise a little, the bread will be thicker and sandwichy. Bake it for 10 minutes for moist, soft bread; baking it for 20 minutes will make it crunchier.