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Aroma Therapy: Focaccia!

February 24, 2005 from Delicious! Delicious!

Focaccia 1.jpg


Laden with bags of groceries, Caryn stumbles across the room where she hoists the purchases onto the counter. Exhausted already, she rests against the refrigerator.


Caryn peeks her head through the door. The room is empty.



The house echoes with her voice. Convinced that there is no one around, she creeps into the room to explore.


Caryn is barely noticable in the expansive room of leather and dark, polished wood. She bumps a chair on her way through the room, but is careful to return it to its exact original position.


The books stretch from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Caryn takes a handsomely bound edition off the shelf and examines it. When she opens it, the binding cracks for the first time.

A thud sounds from the other end of the house. Caryn jumps and puts the book back.


Caryn is relieved to find FLORA, the housekeeper, putting the groceries away. She helps Flora unpack the bags.


Oh, hey Flora.

Flora smiles warmly at Caryn and speaks with a thick Mexican accent.


Hi. How are you?

Caryn takes a large bunch of rosemary from the bag and inhales it deeply. She runs her fingers through the needles.


Flora, what do you say we warm up this house with some fresh bread?

Flora smiles again. Caryn grabs a pound of flour from a bag, but it slips in her hands and the soft, white flour explodes all over the counter.

Caryn and Flora burst into giggles.

Rosemary-Onion Focaccia (for bread machine)

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the sugar over the warm water. Let stand at room temperature until foamy.
2. Add the flour to the pan of the bread machine and make a well in the center.
3. In the well, add 1/2 cup of the olive oil, remaining sugar, table salt, and water-yeast mixture.
4. Use the dough-only cycle of the bread machine to process the dough, adding the rosemary and onion at the mix-in warning (about 5 minutes into the kneading cycle).
5. Line a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper with olive oil. Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet. With oiled fingers, pat dough into a rectangle or oval about 1 inch thick.
6. With your finger or the handle of a wooden spoon, make deep indentations in the top of the dough. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 350.
8. Uncover dough and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Yield: 1 large focaccia