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Homemade Rosemary Romano Focaccia

Airy focaccia bread is seasoned with a favorite Italian cheese and dried rosemary in this Homemade Rosemary Romano Focaccia recipe.

Rosemary Romano Focaccia

It was a chilly June day when I stepped through the doorway of what would become our first home in Maine. Ahead of me was my real estate agent who ushered me down to the full basement, with its big open space and washer/dryer hookups, and back up again. We walked through the living room, where carpet installers were pulling and stretching padding over nail strips. The stairs to the second floor were bare, and they told us to use caution, something that sparked internal amusement since I was wearing open toed shoes and turning out my toes like Estelle taught me to in my years of ballet training in upstate New York.

Upstairs, I peeked in closets and spun around in the bathroom. It was less space then we’d ever had. But it was cozy, and enough for my two children and myself.

Focaccia-Ready to Mix

Downstairs, the tired kitchen cabinets looked sad to me. A roll of carpet and more padding waiting to be installed sat on the floor, but there was still plenty of room to walk. Age aside, it was a big kitchen with room for my stand mixer and cooking.

I wasn’t ready to commit though. After weeks of combing property management listings, I had found several places that I wanted to see. This was only the first one.

That day we visited several other rentals, one just around the corner and another near a park. I opened closets, pictured us in each, sniffed the air. I looked out windows, and wondered if this was just too much change.

Finally, I told her I wanted to see the first place again. We made an appointment for the next afternoon, and then I returned to my hotel and cried. I had only a few weeks before the kids and I would pack everything into a moving van and roll north. I had only a few days to find a place to live before heading back to Connecticut.

The next day brought school visits and long conversations with educators. I wasn’t just there to find a home, but also to select schools for the kids. There were tours and discussions of where we were coming from. I asked curriculum questions and tried to avoid security discussions. Finally, in late afternoon, I returned to that first rental and silently walked through again. The new carpet looked pristine. The fresh paint was so crisp. And in the kitchen, my heart whispered that I could sacrifice newer cabinets for the space and storage it offered. I’d be able to put our kitchen table in the kitchen, and a kitchen island. There would be room for shelves, and the owner was installing a new stove.

Focaccia-Yeast Foaming

Sure, there was no dishwasher and I wouldn’t be able to choose that stove. But I could bring our laundry machines and wash clothes right there. And there would be space for us to spread out and dig into life in Maine. So I signed the application, wrote the check for the security deposit and handed over the application fee, picturing us in that space. I could practically smell the fragrant yeast blooming for breads. It was all like a giant release, a breath that relaxed every muscle that I’d held so tight.

Ten months later, I don’t notice the worn exterior of the cabinets anymore. Yes, they are tired and old, but they fit my extensive collection of spices, salts, dried herbs and oils, as well as all my cookware and plates. Not having a dishwasher isn’t easy, but together with the kids I can wish dishes by hand with good efficiency. And ultimately, the space of the kitchen is everything I’d hoped it would be. Our round table sits near the door, perfect for early morning breakfasts and evening dinners.

Focaccia-Ready to Bake

The kitchen island — the one that sat in a garage for a year and that I tried to sell unsuccessfully just before moving –provides the necessary extra room to test recipes, to create and to cook with the kids. That’s where I tested recipes for my cookbook, and where I write checks for activities for the kids. It’s also where dough rises for everything from homemade pizza to this recipe for focaccia.

I’ve added shelves to store extra kitchen gadgets and our snacks. And by the door hangs our family calendar, where I keep track of our commitments.

Rosemary Romano Focaccia Recipe

The little townhouse is just the space we needed.

Homemade Rosemary Romano Focaccia Bread Recipe
Homemade Rosemary Romano Focaccia

Homemade Rosemary Romano Focaccia

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cups warm water
  • 1 (¼-oz) package dry active yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, , softened
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, , plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 6-7 minutes, until the yeast foams. Stir well.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour, butter, salt, rosemary and the yeast mixture. Allow to mix for about 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic-y.
  3. Turn the dough out into a bowl sprayed with cooking oil spray, and turn to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a cool, dry place to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Brush a 9x13-inch rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread dough out on the sheet press with fingers to dimple all over. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and grated romano cheese. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
  6. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan and cutting into pieces. Serve warm.
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Angie | Big Bear's Wife

Friday 17th of April 2015

your little townhouse sounds perfect as does this focaccia. Hugs, thinking about you today!

Kate

Friday 10th of April 2015

I was just listening to a radio piece the other day about how a lot of people are downsizing homes because they don't need the space. Sure we all want it, but living in smaller spaces gives us more time to spend doing things we enjoy.

Kim Beaulieu

Friday 10th of April 2015

I bought my folks' home after my dad passed, and it is small and dated, and not my dream home in so many ways. Yet in all the emotional ways it is my dream home and more. I think home is where you feel most like yourself.

I love this focaccia, it has all my favourite things. There is just something about baking any type of bread that is welcoming and homey.

[email protected] Mom

Thursday 9th of April 2015

Sounds like you have a lovely home. Home is anywhere family is and your little townhouse sounds just perfect as does this focaccia!

Martha @ A Family Feast

Thursday 9th of April 2015

I have to admit, I've never had very good luck making focaccia (mine always comes out either too doughy OR to flat) - I'm anxious to try your recipe - it looks perfect!