So guess what I did today guys? Locked my kid in the car with my keys and my phone! In the 100 degree heat! (Thank God it was only 10 AM and not later in the afternoon.) Fortunately (?), the fire department was right next to the plaza I was in. Interestingly enough, my stepdad managed to drive five minutes down the street, try and jimmie the door open, then finally start whacking at the window with a jack and got Parker out minutes BEFORE the firefighters could make it 100 yards to where we were. I’m not knocking the fire department and all that they do, but seriously, I WAS FUCKING FRANTIC. Luckily, it just so happened that we were in the parking lot of our pediatrician, so he got all sorts of popsicles and SpongeBob stickers up the wazoo. Then they poked needles in his legs.
After we got home, what I really needed was a drink and a nap, but sometimes I have my priorities straight and decided that probably wouldn’t be the most productive plan of action. So instead of alcohol, I opted for carbs.
I’ve tried making bread before on more than one occaision. I’ve failed at brioche, cinnamon rolls, and well, let’s not talk about the time I decided to make my own dinner rolls for Thanksgiving. The morning of Thanksgiving. However, this was all in another time known as Before KitchenAid. “Things are different now,” I told myself. “There won’t be any kneading or bench flour or any other NONSENSE involved, I can do it!” So while I could have simply boiled some pasta and tossed it with tomato sauce, I opted for yeast. I figured I had already won the award for Shittiest Mom Everthis morning; I can pretty much fail at everything else I do the rest of the day and the catastrophe that was this morning will still top them all.
I went a pretty safe route–I decided to do a focaccia, and chose a recipe our of The Mixer Bible simply because the recipes are developed specifically to be made with a stand mixer. They had a couple of variations involved tomatoes and mozzarella or caramelized onions, but neither were really doing it for me. I had no mozzarella, and as much as I love caramelized onions, I didn’t particularly feel like standing over the stove for an hour stirring. So with a armful of zucchini and inspiration from over here and a lovely little appetizer had at Digestif, my variation was born (and bread hahahaha I’m not funny).
Guess what you guys. I diiiiiiid it! While not exactly the focaccia of my dreams, I made bread. (The topping, however, I will be making on its own to eat raw.) I topped it with Parm shavings, which was good, but I’m almost positive I would have preferred cool, creamy dollops of good ricotta. I just didn’t have any. But as far as bread goes? There’s no stopping me now. I made yeast my bitch. (And it only took a few hours. Way better than the seven days it normally takes.)
Zucchini and Pinenut Focaccia
bread recipe adapted from The Mixer Bible
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (will feel just warm to the touch)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
zest of one lemon, juice of half
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons toasted pinenuts
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmasean or ricotta for serving
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the yeast, water and sugar and let stand about five minutes, or until it begins to foam. Add the flour, oil, and salt and mix on low with the paddle attachment until just combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and slightly sticky. If the dough is sticking too much to the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at a time.
Pick up the dough, form into a ball, and drop back in the bow. Brush with olive oil, cover the bowl with a towel, and place in a warm spot to rise. The dough should double in size between 1-1 1/2 hours.
At this point, grease a 9×13 pan. Dump the dough into the pan and using your fingers, press it out to the edges. (It will pull back on itself, but be aggressive and it will eventually stay.) Cover again, and let rise for another hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425. Combine the topping ingredients in a medium bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the dough has completed it’s second proofing, brush with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Distribute the topping over the top, pressing it down lightly into the dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
When done, slide it out onto a cooling rack. Either shave or dollop your choice of cheese over the top, slice into squares, and serve.