Thursday, February 12, 2004

Crusty Tuscan Flat Bread

So, I find this recipe and tweek it a bit to make it my own and Greg now asks for it every day around noon...."are you makin' bread for dinner?" he says. Jeez, I'm a bit tired of kneading dough. The thing is, its super easy to make.

Cup of lukewarm water
2 packs of yeast
2. 5 cups flour
fresh herbs if you want
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil give or take
toppings of choice or eat it plain with butter!

So, take the the yeast and sprinkle over warm water...let stand for 15 minutes or so until the yeast becomes frothy

Put two cups of flour in a bowl with a pinch or two of sea salt and I cut up some sage leaves here...I've used lavender too which is nice and aromatic. I would use rosemary, but I don't have any in my winter herb garden (oh no, that sounds so martha and its not...just a couple of dried out old sage plants from the summer sitting in pots in the kitchen). Make a well in the center of the flour

Pour in the frothy yeast mixture and mix with a fork until combined and sticky...add about a 1/4 cup more flour and knead in the bowl until combined. Add 1/8 cup of olive oil and knead through your fingers until dough becomes elastic..keep adding oil as needed and knead for about 5-7 minutes right in the bowl (this is the secret to crusty bread). Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise for 1.5 hours.

Take bread out of bowl and place on cookie sheet shape into round or rectangle. cover loosely and let sit another 30 minutes. Preheat to 400 degrees

poke with finger to make divets, sprinkle with oil and more salt and whatever else you want to put on top...carmelized onions, tomatos, red peppers, etc and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and smellin' good.