It has been two days full of cooking around the NH homestead this weekend. I’ve made and frozen several pounds of crock pot carnitas and crock pot chicken tacos for the return of the NH girls. I’m also getting ready to whip into meatloaf gravy to be used as pasta sauce and a batch or two of pizza crusts for the freezer to boot. I’ve also tackled a bread recipe that I’ve always wanted to make – focaccia.
My fondest memory of focaccia is from Monterosso, Italy. After spending the day on the beach in Monterosso, we stopped in a bakery for a Peroni and wedge of focaccia to take on the boat ride back to the little village of Vernazza. I just remember that bread being some of the most simple and flavorful that I had ever tasted. Moist with olive oil and each bite held a little crunch from the generous sprinkling of sea salt on top. Bolstered by the Peroni and post-beach euphoria, that bread is the pinnacle of flatbreads in my mind.
The recipe I used was from the always reliable “Crepes of Wrath” and was very simple. If you’re interested in trying it yourself, I would only offer a few observations. I did mine in my stand mixer and couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. After adding all of the recommended flour, it still seemed to thin so I added about a 1/2 cup more. That did the trick. Also, in the final step, instead of drizzling the olive oil on top of the bread, I’ll brush it the next time for more of an even coating and even browning. As it was, the top of my bread had zigzags left by the olive oil.
That said, the flavor definitely brought me back to Cinque Terre. Hmmm. Time to get planning summer vacation.