Monday, November 3, 2008

focaccia round two

pumpkin-gruyère focaccia

remembered i had some yeast, a whole bag in fact, and i thought i might try my hand at some bread again. i did it once before and loved the potato focaccia, so i searched or a fall-friendly (i'm into that these days) recipe for some savory bread. i came across this and decided that the 2 loaves would be perfect; one to bring to work, one to eat here at home.

all of my ingredients

in story book manner, i will tell this tale of savory pumpkin bread making. i'm only doing this because i took a billion photos (and none with a flash!) and need some where to put them. first, i went out and bought all of my ingredients (see above). then i got to work. i'm actually not going to post the recipe here for two important reasons. one: there are a lot of photos and it's already really long. i haven't even typed down there ↓... two: my office is really cold and i have a combination of mouse-hand (frozen digits due to long exposure to mouse holding) and house-hand (frozen hands due to long exposure in the frigid, tundra-like apartment i call home).

kneading the dough. photos credit husband.

as you read in the recipe, there is lots of rising time (it's bread!) at this kneading point of the game, all of my ingredients have been mixed together in the proper order. i've already let the yeast and sugar and water get all happy and warm and i'm kneading until elastic and smooth. i plop the dough back in my bowl and let it rise for 1 hour.


i check the dough after an hour. it's barely changed in size. i realize the dough should be in a warm place. ha! have i mentioned this old apartment and it's old joke a of a heating system? i mean, we could turn it way up and sure, it would get kinda warm. but then i wouldn't be blogging anymore. or taking pictures. or eating. i would have to sell everything and live out of a cardboard box because it costs too much to turn it way up. and then i certainy wouldn't be complaining about my fancy-pants focaccia not rising. so i turn the heat a little up and put the bowl near the heat duct. i give it another hour and success! large ball of dough. i punch, i divide, i make 8 inch discs. i even use a ruler. (i'm not kidding, i measured.)

corn meal! pretty.

i dust the sheets with really coarse corn meal which i later regret. i take artistic photos of cornmeal and think of the corn palace. memories properly remembered, i place the dough discs on top and cover one with just cheese and one with cheese and walnuts. tsquared is allergic and i don't want him dying just to try this bread. then i put the dough in the oven. then i take it out because i realize i forgot to let it rise again. bah! bread making is hard. back it goes after 20 minutes.

and then it was done! i let it cool for 15 seconds and cut a piece out of the walnut one. i had that one on the top rack and of course, it got darker than it should have. stupid oven. but the insides were still good and even the toasted top was still ok. but, oh, ouch. coarse cornmeal + regular human teeth = damage. so i scraped as much as i could off both loaves.

that would be one of two warnings i have about this recipe. one: use finely ground corn meal. two: watch the loaves so they don't get too dark. i was watching mine and bam, then they were brown. (my cursor is missing right now and on top of mouse/house hands i am struggling to type this...i can't freaking find my place!)

i have no idea how the office felt about this bread, but i liked it. i liked the plain gruyère better than the one with walnuts, but that may have been because it wasn't as "done". the bread wasn't too pumpkin-y and had little pockets of cheese inside. it would be great in a panini as the original recipe suggests. i consider this bread a success.


Thomas said...

It was a great success. Delicious all around, at least for the pumpkin non-walnut one. I can't believe you had such issues with it though! I never would have guessed, given how tasty it was. Husband should be commended on excellent non-flash action photos :D

Anonymous said...

Your FIL would like to try this at some point.

alauna said...

it's good! i'd do without the nuts, so much better...more cheese and pumpkin flavor!