Let me be clear about something. Until recently the only herbs I ever used came from jars. And even then, I barely paid attention to the shapes and colors of them. I suppose if I had, I would have noticed that I was buying the wrong herb at the market the other day. As reality turns out though, I didn’t realize until Dum-Da-DUM! I saw Kalyn’s photo of thyme on her website this weekend. Be sure to check there for the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup late Sunday.
My thyme wasn’t thyme at all.
But good things can come from mishaps. And a quick run to the kitchen assured my mussel lobster chowder a little taste of dried thyme in addition to the ah-hem, rosemary, that I had already added.
I knew something was up when the recipe wanted me to chop the “thyme” and I just couldn’t figure out how to chop needles like that.
The good news is that the chowder was a hit. And the rosemary on the foccacia I made was also a hit. So really, all’s well that ends well. In the photo you’ll notice that I made several varieties of this, but here is the recipe for just one.
Herby Cheese Mini Foccacia
Adapted from Home Cooking Baking & Desserts
2 1/2 cups unbleached white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 envelope active dry yeast, or equivalant.
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzerella cheese
Sift the flour, salt and yeast together into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and water and knead into a dough until just together.
Transfer dough to an electric mixer bowl. Attach the dough hook and knead on low for 8 minutes. A smooth ball should be formed.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Once risen, punch dough for 1-2 minutes. Divide into four balls.
Brush a cookie sheet with olive oil, place four balls on sheet and press round to form rounds. Use your fingers to push down onto dough, creating a dimpled appearance.
In a small bowl, combine cheeses and herbs. Sprinkle evenly on four rounds. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Salt to taste.
Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for an additional 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove towel and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Move foccacia to a wire cooling rack and let cool. Cut into pieces and serve.