Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cooking Without

Cooking Without - Focaccia 

I have to be the most inconsistent blogger ever. I've said it before, there are so many blogs out there. So many experts in everything that another blogger is probably not what the world needs.
However, I do enjoy writing on occasion and keeping track of thoughts and projects that I might be up to from time to time.
For those who don't know me I am a homeschooling mom to five boys. And they are getting bigger.And they are nearly eating us out of house and home. That , by the way, is not so much a figure of speech for some.  My husband works a very decent job but with a family of 7 and boys rolling into teenage years it's like treading water more days than not.  Currently I have 3 huge turkeys in my freezer bought on sale, six bricks of butter that had been reduced to $1, buckets of whole grains that need to be ground. I have four eggs. One bag of milk (yeah, it's Ontario so it's bagged). Six pears. And three days until grocery day. And I really can't - shouldn't - go buy anything because I already dipped into savings this week to buy gas and fresh fruit and milk. This is pretty much the situation at the end of every pay cycle and it's okay. God is good and we DO have all we need and I have been blessed with a skill set just right for my lifestyle. I'm not Pinterest-best but I can do the job.
My friend recently came over with her five children making the lunch time count 14 people. This is not unusual - my boys had friends over for the weekend and then I had seven boys, plus us. And I want you to know that this brings me great joy to see my house full. A blessing not everyone can boast about. So the last thing I ever want my guests to think is that they are burdening me.
Back to my group of 14..... I pulled off a decent lunch and my friend , always the encourager, suggested I share recipes of how to make much out of nothing much.
I'm going to share a recipe with you for Focaccia. Focaccia is a flat , oven baked, pizza style Italian bread.

750ml water
3 tsp instant yeast
2 3/4c flour
3 tsp salt
1 1/4tsp sugar
2 oz olive oil.

Use your stand mixer to combine your ingredients into a dough.
Oil your sheet pans with olive oil ( I lined mine with foil instead)
Roll out dough into pan (I used two pans, you could maybe even get three out of this)
Put in a warm place, covered for 1.5 -2 hours to proof.
Use your finger tips to press dimples into the dough.

Now the fun. FIND SOMETHING to finish it with.

Brush it with melted butter or flavoured oil or even just olive oil.
Top it with coarse salt, fresh herbs, garlic, cheese, tomatoes, olives, ham/bacon/turkey - Whatever you have on hand.

Put a pan of water into the oven for steam and bake it at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden.

This is a yummy snack, light lunch or finishes off a meal. Very few ingredients with a little investment of your time and effort.

I hope you try it a few times to see how versatile this can be and made with very inexpensive staples.


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