Second Time’s A Charm

And my second try was triumphant! As I said before, I am a perfectionist and when I was at the store I picked up more yeast as well as some fresh rosemary and thyme. At home I expanded on a recipe I have used for pizza crust countless times and the result was a perfect, golden, chewy foccacia with fresh herbs.

This was REALLY easy to make. I used rapid rise yeast and it only had to rise for 30 minutes on my warm stove. The whole bread baking process probably only took about 1 hour. I changed the recipe to use white whole wheat flour (instead of just white flour) and honey for a little sweetness. I also added a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil that I drizzled on top before baking.

Here are some photos!



This foccacia only has about 100 calories per square (note that I cut these large slabs into smaller squares…the recipe makes about 12 squares)

I don’t think my apartment has EVER smelled this good! A mixture of bread baking and herbs….Mmmm

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  • emily
    January 2, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Could you post the recipe? Thanks!

  • jenna
    January 2, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    I think I was posting it when you wrote in! It’s under the recipes page of the site. 🙂

  • jess
    January 2, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hey there Jenna! SO glad that you decided to attempt it again. In fact, I was just going to comment that I can’t wait until the recipe gets posted and then I decided to check the recipe page and, surprise, you had already gotten to it. Way to be so on top of it! Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate how thorough your site is becoming, very impressive. I am definately off to the kitchen to make a bowl of oatmeal and then who knows what the day will bring. However, thanks to my positive outlook- largely influenced by you- I know that it will be filled with excitement, enjoyment, and, most importantly, good Food!!

  • emily
    January 2, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you! I think you are right! lol

  • Kristin
    January 2, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Jenna – do you freeze your leftover breads? Also, do you freeze them individually? This looks delicious and I want to make it, but I need to ensure that I won’t eat it all! 🙂 The husband isn’t a huge bread person, so I can’t rely on him. 🙁

  • jenna
    January 2, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Yes! I always freeze my breads! I saved about 5 pieces from this batch and froze the rest….not individually, but wrapped tightly in tinfoil. I have found that most bread freezes wonderfully and is very easy and quick to defrost in the fridge when the craving strikes! I always keep a really good artisan loaf of bread (that I buy every few weeks from the fresh market or whole foods) in the freezer, pre-sliced, so that when I want to make poached eggs on toast or have good country bread to dip in stew or soup, I can have it pronto! I also keep normal sandwich bread in the fridge because I have found it keeps very well there.

  • emily
    January 2, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Ok I just made the bread and while it tastes fairly good, I have a few questions!

    I substituted the white whole wheat flour for 2cups whole wheat and 1 cup white all purpose flour. I also only used rosemary because I could not find thyme! My oven is built into the wall so I could not let it rise on the warm oven, but I put it in front of a window that the sun was shining through (I live Texas!)….it wasnt really that warm though! After the 30minutes my bread didnt really look any different….was it supposed to? I mean it tastes like bread and all but it isnt like the nice flavorful crispy bread I was hoping for! Oh and also, All of my rosemary just fell right off when I cut and picked up my slice. I used quite a bit of EVOO so I dont know why it didnt stick!

    I have never baked bread before, so I did pretty good for my first try. I live with my family who eats everything, so this bread will be gone soon and I can try again! Any tips to make it better next time?!

  • jenna
    January 2, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Hmmm…..did you use rapid rise yeast or regular bakers yeast? You really need to use rapid rise for this particular recipe because it cuts down the rising time significantly. Also, did you use HOT water at the beginning? Thats necessary too. Its not going to become huge in the 30 minutes it rises, but when using the rapid rise yeast it does become significantly bigger/fluffier. You aren’t going to get a “crispy” bread though from this recipe. It’s more of a chewy/pizza like bread. Def. not crispy! The rosemary does tend to fall off; it helps if you push it down into the dough before you bake but mine falls off sometimes too…but it still scents the dough. Your regular whole wheat flour might alter the bread a bit too. I use “king arthur brand white whole wheat” which is much lighter than regular whole wheat flour. It’s sort of a blend. baking is so funny/fickle and depends on many things like the weather, the flour, the water temp….luckily foccacia is sort of full-proof. I suggest making it again and topping it this time with canned tomatoes before baking and perhaps some cheese for a great homemade pizza. Oh, and check on the yeast! 🙂

  • emily
    January 2, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Yea I did use the rapid rise and I used the hottest water that my faucet would give me! I didnt want to boil it because that would kill the yeast. Should I boil it and let it cool a bit or is it ok to use hot faucet water!? I like the idea of topping it with tomatoes or cheese for a bit of a different flavor! The dough must have been the right texture then (which was actually really good!) and I might just need to play around with the topping and flour. I might try 1.5 cups of white and 1.5 of wheat (I already have two big bags of flour (white and wheat) and do not want to buy a whole other bag of the white whole wheat so I am improvising! haha) Thanks for the response and the recipe! You have SOO many good recipes! I just want to try them all!!

  • Becky
    January 3, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I also tried making the bread tonight! Thanks for the inspiration! Mine was not nearly as dark as yours…..I just used regular white flour…I looked for the white wheat…but the close grocery store doesn’t have a lot of things (like fresh mozzarella for example…..) Anyway, my bread stayed a pretty pale color..even with about a tbsp of olive oil brushed on and baking for about 18 minutes. Any suggestions? It tastes really great! Just doesn’t look as pretty as yours!

  • jenna
    January 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I’m so excited people actually made the bread! That’s awesome! When I baked my bread, my oven had been hot for awhile (because of my prior bread disaster). You might want to cook it for longer until its a nice golden color. Mine got that color after about 15 minutes but i think that might be because my oven was really hot! You should find out if theres a “gourmet” store around…like a fresh market. Or a health foods store. those places would have more specialty ingredients such as fresh mozz and white wheat flour. Yum!

  • jess
    January 3, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    YOU are a rockstar- my house smells so amazing! Thanks for giving me the courage to try making real bread (like, with actual yeast! I’ve made irish soda bread before, but have always been super leary of yeast) for the first time.

  • jess
    January 3, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    okay… so i might have taken pictures… haha! If I knew how to show you I totally would. I couldn’t help it- Jenna the bread turned out amazing. I ended up putting some mozzarella and mushrooms on top of a piece, popping it under the broiler for a minute, and eating it with some creamy tomato soup (i.e. an italian extravaganza! and def. in my top 5 lunches of all time). Thanks for helping me realize that food is something to cherish and appreciate instead of fear.

  • jenna
    January 4, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Yay!!!! That makes me SO happy, Jess!!! That sounds SO good….enjoy it! 🙂