Killer of Plants. Lover of Bread.

I, Miranda, am a killer of plants.  And herbs.  And vegetables.

This is my shame.

My mother in law brought us several planters with basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary - which I was really excited about getting.  We cook a lot, and there is nothing better than cooking with fresh herbs.  (Except maybe new shoes.  New shoes trump pretty much everything.)  I tried to keep them alive, and did pretty well for awhile - but after 99 degree weather, non stop sunshine, a trip to the beach and some forgetful moments I am sad to say that most of my herbs are now brown.  And dead.
This weekend after a visit, my mother in law loaded us up with some more fresh rosemary.  I wanted to put it to good use before it died so I searched Pinterest for a good recipe idea.

Rosemary focaccia bread?  Twist my arm.  I wanted this bread.  Bad.  I wanted it so bad, I planned an entire meal around it.  (Nothing exciting.  Buitoni pasta and salad mix.  Hey, when you make homemade focaccia, you can take the easy way out for the rest of the meal.)

We go crazy for fresh rosemary around here.  No, really we do.  See?

That guy in the corner of the picture is my husband.  He graciously allows me to take a hundred pictures of random things like rosemary and salt for my blog.  He doesn't even call me weird or tell me I'm wasting time.  He just adds to the beauty of my photograph with his lovely mug.  Isn't that sweet?

Anyway, my point is - go get the ingredients for this bread.  Now.  Don't walk.  Run.  Push down small children if you have to.  Trust me, it's worth it...

Rosemary Focaccia Bread by way of Our Best Bites

1 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp rosemary (do yourself a favor...use FRESH)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or until bubbly. While the yeast is getting bubbly, combine 2 C of the flour, salt, 1 1/2 Tbsp. rosemary, oregano and garlic powder.

(Here's a hint...check the temperature of the water with a thermometer.  Seriously, yeast is picky stuff.  It doesn't like water that's too cold, or too hot.  It should be between 105-115 degrees F. )

Add flour mixture to yeast mixture along with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Mix well. (I put it in my stand mixer with the dough hook on). Slowly add remaining flour to make a very soft dough–try and resist the urge to add too much flour.  You want a soft, wet dough.  (It will feel sticky,.  Don't freak out, that's ok)

Cover and allow to rise 45 min- 1 hour or until double in size.
Lightly flour your work surface and transfer dough onto this surface. Divide in half. Shape each half into a rounded loaf and place on a greased cookie sheet or pizza stone. Cover and allow to rise another 45 minutes.  The loaves will each be fairly small.  You will wonder how to get away with eating them both, by yourself.  (Perhaps it's time to employ the earlier technique of pushing small children out of the way...)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use remaining tablespoon of olive oil to brush over tops of loaves, discarding excess if you have any.  Sprinkle with remaining rosemary and some Kosher salt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until very lightly golden brown.  

The result?

Heck, even Mr. Picky Pants himself ate a slice.  Perfection.