Until recently, I’ve been a yeast-avoider.  Beguiling pictures of rising bread caught my attention, but yeast in the list of ingredients sent me running for the hills. Too difficult, too complicated, too time-consuming. I had every excuse under the sun until one day I decided it was time to tackle this monster.

I started with quick rising yeast, and you know what? It’s not difficult at all! Nor is it particularly time-consuming.  A bit of stopping and starting with the rising dough, but you can easily knock off some small chores in between. The house smells amazing while the dough is rising, and the final product is well worth it. Absolutely delicious.

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Mushroom & Smoked Mozzarella Foccacia

Easy peasy! This delectably fragrant and squishily tender flatbread is a crowd pleaser. Makes a wonderful starter or a great side for a salad.

 

  • Author: Helen Kain (adapted from Victoria's Fall Baking 2017)

Ingredients

2 c warm water

1 package quick-rising dry yeast

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

520 g (4 1/2 c) bread flour

7 tbsp olive oil, divided into two lots of 3 tbsp and one of 1 tbsp 

1 lb (454 g or 16 oz) cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp minced garlic

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz smoked mozzarella, shredded

 

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Stir in 3 tbsp olive oil, the thyme and rosemary, 2 tsp each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 2 c of flour,  stirring until well combined. Add the remaining flour 1/2 c at a time, stirring well with each addition. You will now have a soft and sticky dough.

Spray a separate large bowl with baking spray. Scrape the dough into it, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm (85°F) place until doubled in size (this takes about an hour).

While the dough is rising, prepare the mushrooms. Warm 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and add the mushrooms. As they begin to release their liquid, sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and sautée the mushrooms until well browned (about 10 minutes). Resist the urge to stir them too frequently or they won’t brown. Add the garlic, sautée for a few more minutes and set aside. 

 
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Lightly spray a half-sheet rimmed baking pan (18″ x 13″) with baking spray. Slide the dough onto the sheet and gently pull and stretch it until it almost covers the pan. The dough will be very soft, so handle it carefully. Make indentations at 1-inch intervals with your fingertips. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and let rise until slightly puffed (about 20 minutes).
 
Bake until golden brown (about 20 minutes).
 
Remove the dough from the oven and spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the Mozzarella. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
 
Serve and enjoy!
 
 

Notes

The recipe makes a LOT. I froze half of it and served it at a later date, defrosting and reheating it at the last minute. It was equally delicious as the first lot right out of the oven.

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.

 

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