It seems as if the last couple of weeks have been a long string of cold rainy days. I am beginning to understand how it must feel to live in the Pacific Northwest. I have spent many days cosied up, drinking coffee, and reading this book. I have also spent a fair amount of time baking all sorts of things, including this foccacia.
I have been staring at a bag of semolina sitting idly in my pantry for a while, a reminder of a failed attempt at pasta making. I decided to give it a try in my usual whole wheat foccacia recipe, and I am glad I did. It made a world of difference in the taste and texture. This bread is also really versatile. You can slice it in half lengthwise and toast it topped with some mozzarella and tomatoes for a sandwich, or serve it alongside your favorite pasta.
I was happy to be able use some of the rosemary from my garden, which is doing great thanks to all of the rain. I guess rainy days are good for something after all.
Rosemary Semolina Focaccia
2¼ teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon natural sugar
1¼ cup very warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup semolina flour
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling the bowl and the pan
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Combine the yeast, sugar, and ½ cup of the water in a small bowl and let proof for 15 minutes. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached mix the whole wheat flour, semolina, and salt. Add the yeast mixture, 2 tablespoons of the rosemary, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining water. Mix on low-speed until a smooth dough forms and cleans the sides of the bowl, adding more flour or water a tablespoon at a time if necessary. Let the mixer continue to knead the dough for four minutes. Next remove the ball of dough from the bowl, and lightly oil the bowl and a piece of plastic wrap. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with the plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has approximately doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400F. Uncover the bowl and gently punch down the dough. Lightly oil a large rectangular baking sheet with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Roll the dough out on the baking sheet. Poke a finger around to dimple the bread. Brush the top with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the rosemary and sea salt. Bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Does anyone else have a kitchen garden growing? I know I can’t wait to reap what I have sewn in mine!