Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enough already!

If it rains any more here in Joisey, I think I'll scream. The roads are flooded just about everywhere, and falling trees have destroyed I don't know how many adorable front porches around here. While we are lucky enough not to have been evacuated like so many people back home, it just sucks. I really wanted to make some cutesy Easter sweets today, but the gray wetness had me feeling grumpy. I made the next assignment for HBin5 instead. The Olive Spelt dough from page 96 of  Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients may be my favorite dough so far (sorry Soft Whole Wheat). The yogurt makes it a very soft dough, so it's partial to hanging out all over the place. Thus, it makes slammin' focaccia. Slammin', I tell you!

I used my new favorite olives for this: La Medina Classic Olive Mix. I get them on sale at Fairway and they have as many varieties as the Whole Foods million dollar olive bar. The only issue is that they don't come pitted, so you have to do it yourself. Don't have an olive pitter? Never fear! I don't either. As much as I love kitchen gadgets, I just can't justify buying more of them right now. Instead I drain the olives and dump them on a cutting board. Then I do just like I do with garlic cloves, smush them with the side of my largest chef's knife. I just press down until I feel resistance from the olive pit. Then I give the olive a little squeeze, and out pops the pit. Takes all of three minutes. Nice.


Once I mixed this dough and spread it onto parchment paper, I sprinkled it with sesame and poppy seeds and gave it a generous seasoning of salt and cracked pepper. A little drizzle of olive oil, and this baby was good to go.


But wait! What to eat with all of this bread? And why waste the heat of a 425 degree oven just for this? I had three humongous tomatoes and a head of garlic just waitin' for a roast, so I put them in, too. Never roasted garlic? Shame on you.

Just grab your garlic and peel off the papery outside skin, leaving all of the cloves intact. Slice the top (about 1/4 inch) off the head of garlic with a very sharp knife. Place the garlic in the center of a square of foil. Drizzle it with a tablespoon of olive oil and fold the foil up and around to seal. (Sorry to blind you with camera flash here, but honestly, it's pitch black night in my kitchen at 12:00 in the afternoon.)


If you are just roasting the garlic, you can place it in your oven now, but I put it in the middle of a large casserole dish. I filled the rest of the dish with quartered tomatoes, drizzled them with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper and put the whole thing in the oven, just under my focaccia. 25 minutes later I had this...



And another 10 minutes later I had a gorgeous golden roasted garlic and some withered and browned roasted tomatoes. I've roasted garlic for up to an hour before, so you just need to test it. Give the foil packet a little squeeze (with your oven-mit-wearing paw, thank you very much) and if it gives, it's ready. I added the tomatoes and a few cloves of the garlic to my blender, seasoned it with salt and pepper and gave it a whirl. A little chicken broth and heavy cream turns it from slush to soup. Perfect for rainy day lunch, and for sopping up with focaccia. 


15 comments:

Nicc79 said...

That soup and cake look so good, :) You have inspired me this week end if i get time i think i will do some cooking :)

Kim said...

I love how you just whipped up a soup to go with your bread. That's awesome:D Sounds like everyone is enjoying the spelt bread.

Michelle said...

"slamming bread"...hey I like that and we loved the Olive Focaccia! It really did make a great Focaccia Loaf!

And your soup sounds so good! I've been watching your weather on the news and my heart goes out to all the people flooded out of their homes. So awful!

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

"slammin' focaccia" I like that! I loved this dough. Your soup looks really good as well. Yum!

Raelyn said...

I hope it stops raining soon. Thanks for the great pics. Your focaccia looks delicious!

Bonnie said...

I loved the recipe for the garlic soup. I made focaccia as well. Doesn't this recipe just lend itself to that?

Mama Peck said...

I love the way you describe your focaccia.. it sounds like the perfect soup accompaniment! I haven't made the olive bread yet but it seems focaccia is the way to go. Yours looks out of this world.

Joanna said...

Thanks everyone! This bread was definitely the best one so far. I even packed up a brown bag lunch for my boss with a few slices and a cup of the soup. It was too good to keep to myself!

Petra said...

slammin' is good. Like the soun of that. Looks like you got a perfect combiation there. Foccasia, garlic and tomatoes what could be better than that?

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Your post has my mouth watering! Delicious! I hope that darned rain stops soon.

Cristie said...

I wish I had made focaccia out of my dough, yours looks "slammin" good.

Daphne said...

You just gave me a wonderful idea of putting some roasted garlic into the olive spelt bread. YUM!

Elwood said...

Isn't roasted garlic the best and to add roasted tomatoes and then guild it with cream yum. Your focaccia is totally "slamming"

Teresa Bjork said...

Looks wonderful! I think it's great you pitted the olives yourself. It's the homemade effort that makes it special.

Ezzie said...

You and I think alike! From how to pit the olives to "why waste 450 heat"! The one thing different I do with my garlic different is leave the paper covering on, soak the entire head in water for about ten minutes, all the rest is the same. Your loaf and soup came out perfect! Thanks for the recipe!