I LOVE BREAD! There was a time not long ago when I thought I may be allergic to gluten. From the moment I was presented with that idea, I began to mourn a little. Seriously! I am in good health physically and mentally, with so much to be thankful for in that department. I realize that a gluten allergy is a very small thing compared to the problems others face, but the possibility still made me sad. I could not imagine life without my favorite food. Bread.
GOING GLUTEN FREE In an effort to see if I truly was allergic to gluten, I decided to go without for about 3 weeks. It was tough! I discovered that there are lots of foods to eat even on such a diet, but a restriction like that can make life difficult. Going gluten free didn’t solve my problems. I definitely realize the benefits of reducing gluten in one’s diet and I try to be conscience of that, but in my book, being able to eat “real” bread again is a cause for celebration!
THE MANY TYPES OF BREAD I have met few breads that I don’t like. Tonight I was in a baking mood (or an eating bread mood…) and decided to try my hand at some focaccia. This flat bread turned out to be a delicious treat and I can see it pairing well with many meals!
Mix together in a metal bowl or mixer (again, I used my Bosch):
- 1 3/4 C. Warm Water
- 1 Tbsp. Yeast
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
Allow to sit until yeast is bubbly. About 10 min.
While the above mixture is sitting, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil on the stove. This will just be used later to help the dough rise quicker.
Add to the yeast and water mixture and stir:
- 1/2 C. Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
- 4 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour (more or less)
When dough forms, knead into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Place in the oven (The oven is TURNED OFF) and place the pan of boiling water on the floor of the oven. The steam will help the dough rise. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Split the dough ball into 2 equal parts and spread out onto 2 cookie sheets or pizza pans. (I used my stoneware from Pampered Chef…)
Put dimples in the top of the dough with your fingers as you spread it out. Top each flatbread with the following:
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1/2 Small Bulb of Garlic (More or less depending on how much you like garlic!)
Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for about 45 minutes while the oven is preheating to 425 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. When it is done, the top will be golden brown.
Eat as is, serve with your favorite soup or entree, or use it to make a sandwich. The possibilities are endless!