Yesterday was one of those days where you realize you studied the wrong chapters for your online quiz. You had high hopes of building your back yard fire pit but now it’s pouring rain (and lightning—pouring lightning. ok maybe not pouring). You know you should probably cook something/baking something/do something with your life but you just don’t know what.
I think we all have those moments—where nothing is really wrong but everything feels just a tiny bit over-the-top. It sucks, but it’s just one of those things I guess. I have a few “cures” that I usually turn to on annoying days like this:
-Eat an ice cream cone. Not just ice cream in a bowl from your freezer. No. Go somewhere, get a cone, take a picture, eat it. It does wonders. (You can skip the picture part if you’re not a weirdo like me.)
-Make a giant to-do list for your week/month/year/life. Dreaming up things you want to do, or making note of the things you’ve been putting off but ought to do is somehow very liberating for me. Lists set me free. I know it should probably feel like the opposite, but like I said, I’m a weirdo.
-Do something you’ve never done before. Like make Focaccia. Or run 3 miles. Or organize your closet by color. Or climb a mountain. You can go crazy with this one or you can work with the time you have that day.
So for me, as I read the correct chapters for my online quiz I also waited for my Focaccia to rise. This was my first focaccia, ever. And it was marvelous. And it reminded me that I can, indeed, do new things. And that made me feel better.
Plus I got an “A” on my quiz later that day. (Boom.)
Whole Wheat Focaccia, makes one giant loaf (you can turn it into croutons if it’s too much), adapted from here.
Needed: 2 heaping teaspoons active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/3 cup olive oil (plus more for the top), cornmeal for the pan, spices for the top (I used: caraway seeds, dry oregano, coarse sea salt, and sprinkle of chili powder).
In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the dough hook) combine the warm water and sugar until it dissolves. Add the yeast and let it bubble up, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer on low and start adding in the flours, then the salt. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and then continue mixing, add in the oil. Now turn the mixer on medium and let it knead the dough for 8-10 minutes; until the dough is very elastic. If you don’t have a mixer you can totally do this by hand, it will just take longer but you will get some pretty sweet arm muscles. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour. Turn out onto a flour surface and punch the dough down. Roll or stretch the dough so it’s about 1/2 inch thick and roughly a large rectangle. Place on a lightly oiled and covered in cornmeal baking sheet, cover, and allow to rise for another 15-20 minutes.
Dimple the dough, brush with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle on your spices (or add toppings like olives, caramelized onions, etc.). Bake at 400 F for 18-20 minutes. Enjoy with soup, or warm with butter. These are just suggestions. You could just stare at it; but that seems like such a waste, no? xo. Emma