It was another cold, snowy, blustery day. It literally snowed all day long, but we did not get a lot of accumulation due to the winds. More snow means more soup. This time it was a split pea soup kind of day. I love split pea soup. I was attempting to make rosemary focaccia to go with the soup, but my kitchen had other plans and decided NOT to cooperate, again.
I think I have some gremlins hiding in my kitchen. This is twice in a week that I have tried to make things that didn’t come out the way the were supposed to. Fortunately, I have learned how to cover up my mistakes and I can recreate foods and give them a good result, but still, this is becoming frustrating too. My latest mishap in the kitchen was when I was making some rosemary focaccia that turned into rosemary flat breadsticks instead. I know it is not my yeast, since I literally just used it a couple of days ago to make my Blue Corn Pizza Southwestern BBQ Chicken Pizza with Blue Corn Crust. It all turned out OK though. I mean they still tasted very good, but that was NOT my desired result. I just knew how to save the recipe and NOT throw it all away; a very useful skill I seemed to have mastered over the years. All I can do about it is to roll with the punches and take it all in stride. 🙂
1 1/4 cups water
3 TBSP rosemary, divided
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
4 TBSP olive oil
2 1/2-3 cups flour
coarse salt for topping
Chop the rosemary fine. Boil the water and add 1 TBSP of the chopped rosemary to the boiling water. Let it seep for a few minutes. Then add the honey and the yeast to the rosemary water, then add the olive oil and whisk it all together. Let it all set for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.
Start with about 2 1/2 cups of the flour and add more as needed. Combine the flour and salt, then make a well in the center and add the yeast and rosemary mixture to the flour. You will have a very soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for an additional 5-7 minutes until it forms into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into the prepared bowl. Cover and set aside to rise for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
Lightly oil a 14×12 baking sheet and place the dough onto prepared baking pan.
Evenly spread the remaining chopped rosemary and the coarse salt onto the dough. Mix the egg with 1 TBSP of olive oil and carefully brush the dough’s surface with the egg wash. Let the dough rise again for an additional 45-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 190* C and place the focaccia in the hot oven to bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until it rises and is golden brown. Or in my case, until it is golden brown. Because my dough never rose the way it was supposed to, mine became flat breadsticks instead. Either way, it still tastes good, it was just a different presentation that what I was expecting. 🙂
I share my mistakes with you because I want you all to feel confident in the kitchen. We all make mistakes, no matter how long we have been cooking, or what our level of expertise is. We will ALL have those days when nothing seems to work right. The point is sometimes we have to fail in order to succeed. NEVER stop trying. When you stop trying the only result will be failure.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.