Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet Potato Foccacia Bread with Garlic & Thyme

Does anybody else out there have a case of the Mondays? I feel like that happens to me every Monday. But really, how can it not? In my "professional" opinion, weekends are just too short, go by too fast, and before you know it, you blink and it's Monday. Bleck! 

That being said, I have the perfect recipe to spice up your Monday! Sweet Potato Foccacia Bread with fresh Garlic and Thyme. It is my new absolutely favorite thing! I made it this weekend, while I finished Gone Girl. That's right guys! January's book is DONE! And it was so good. The only way to sum it up is my favorite review of the book from Scott Smith. He writes:

 I cannot say this urgently enough: you have to read Gone Girl (YES YOU DO!!). It's as if Gillian Flynn has mixed us a martini using battery acid instead of vermouth and somehow managed to make it taste really, really good. - Scott Smith

Yup. It's that good. 

But back to the bread. It's light. It's flavorful. It's basically an explosion of goodness in your mouth. Your tastebuds will love you. I promise. And while some of you may think baking bread is difficult, or something from the past. I am telling you it's not. It takes patience, waiting for the dough to rise for sure, but it is not difficult. It makes your house smell AMAZING, and honestly freshly baked bread, piping hot, and right out of the oven is nothing short of perfect. 

So please go make this! It will make this Monday, not so bad, after all. 

Sweet Potato Foccacia Bread with Garlic & Thyme
Adapted From Cooks Illustrated


1 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil , plus more to grease bowl/pan
1 1/4 teaspoons salt


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh Thyme
5 cloves finely chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon sea salt , coarse

In large bowl of electric mixer mix yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water until combined.Cover tightly with plastic and set aside until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Add remaining dough ingredients, including sweet potato.Using the dough hook on your kitchen aid, mix until dough becomes elastic (about 5 min).

Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm area until dough is puffy and doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Press dough flat into generously oiled 13x9 in brownie pan. Cover dough with lightly greased or oil-sprayed plastic wrap; let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough is puffy and doubled in volume, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. With two wet fingers, dimple risen dough. For the topping: Drizzle dough with oil and sprinkle evenly with garlic, thyme and coarse salt.

Bake until focaccia bottom is golden brown and crisp, 23-25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly. Cut rectangular focaccia into squares; serve warm. This can be stored on your counter for the rest of the evening or wrap and freeze. It will store well up to one month. To re-heat, take it out of the freezer and bake in 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes. 

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