Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kalamata Tomato Focaccia

I wanted some bread today, and decided what I really wanted was some focaccia. If I had some rosemary, I probably would have used that, but I didn't, so I put some thyme in.

Basic Focaccia
1 Packet Active Dry yeast
1/2 cup tepid water (110 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (+more for the topping)
2 cups AP Flour
Olive Oil

Step 1 -- Mix the yeast, water and sugar in a bowl until the yeast dissolves. Let this proof for ten minutes.
Step 2 -- once the yeast mixture is foamy, add the 2 cups of flour, the salt, and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. The more oil you add, the richer the bread, but it can be pretty overpowering, so start small, and the next time you make the bread if you want more, you can add more. If the dough is still dry, add more water a tablespoon or so at a time. Once the dough comes together, place it on a floured surface and knead for a minute or two until you get a slight skin on the dough.
Step 3 -- Place your doughball in an oiled bowl and cover with a moist towel. Place this bowl in a warm place and let it rise till it doubles in size (30 minutes or so). Preheat your oven to 475.
Step 4 -- Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, knead it again for a minute or two and place it on a sheet pan which you've lubed with olive oil and a light dusting of cornmeal.
Step 5 -- I shaped my dough into a rough square shape about 3/4 of an inch thick. Then I poked holes all in the dough with my fingers. These holes will help the topping to get down into the bread.
For my topping I combined 10 chopped Kalamata olives, a dozen chopped cherry tomatoes, a teaspoon of thyme and olive oil with a little salt. You could top your's with just olive oil and salt if you like, or rosemary. Whatever you want, really.

Bake at 475 for 15 to 20 minutes. Mine took every bit of 20 tonight, and turned out awesome.


I've never been a huge Hummus fan, as the texture was always something I couldn't get past... Something about spooning mud onto a cracker and then eating that muddy cracker didn't ever appeal to me. That is, until I had the artichoke hummus @ Ziziki's in Dallas. This, is something I can get on board with. It's light, lemony, not gritty at all, yet they claim there are indeed garbanzo's in it. Who am I to question them? I'm only interested in repeating (or at least approximating) their recipe at home. Below is an admittedly more beanie knockoff, but it's pretty damn tasty...

Artichoke Kalamata Hummus
1 Can Garbanzo Beans (I've found that Bush's are indeed the Best)
1 Lemon
2/3 Cup Marinated Artichoke Hearts
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Pepper
1&1/2 Tbsp Roasted Garlic (roasted garlic in olive oil -- probably equal to 3 cloves)
2 Tbsp Kalamata Olive spread (available in your grocer's olive bar)
Olive oil and salt to taste

Zest and juice your lemon into the bowl of your food processor. Add the rest of your ingredients and pulse to your desired texture. If your hummus is too dry, add a little olive oil. Salt to taste, and serve. I like mine with pita bread.