Sunday, May 07, 2006

RECIPE: Foccacia with Lavender Garlic

Foccacia with Lavender Garlic Makes
8 Servings

1(1/4 oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 2/3 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
5 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon culinary lavender
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fleur de Sel
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, combine sugar or honey in about half of the tepid water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit). Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and let the stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. Combine the flour and the yeast mixture by hand or with a mixer fitted with a dough hook. To do it by hand: On a large clean area or a very large bowl. Pour the flour and salt into a mound. Make a well in the center. Pour the oil into the yeast mixture. Pour the half of the mixture into the flour well. With your hand make circular movements to mix the flour in with the yeast. Once half the flour has been incorporated then pour in the remaining water. Continue until all the flour has been incorporated into the mixture. Lightly flour work surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth. If the dough is really sticking to your hands then put a little flour on your hands. Form the dough into a round shape and place dough in a bowl. Score the top with a knife a few times. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a draft free room for an hour or until it rises to double in size. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and then let it rest for another hour to relax the dough. At this point you can refrigerate the dough overnight. But be sure to allow the dough to return to room temperature before putting it in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil a large baking sheet. Lightly flour work surface and roll out dough into a large rectangle. Transfer dough to the baking sheet, cover with towel and let proof for 30-45 minutes or until it doubles in height. Meanwhile, make the lavender garlic topping. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the lavender. Mix garlic and lavender with olive oil. Make dimples in the dough with your fingers by pushing into the dough several times. Brush the lavender garlic all over and into the dimples. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. You can drizzle more olive oil on top if you want. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

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