Thursday, March 29, 2012

Herbed Skillet Bread

Just a quick post tonight. I've been thinking about starting a regular post of recipe reviews from recipes I've collected from Pinterest, the Food Network, the Food Channel and the many cookbooks occupying my kitchen and since I decided to make this for dinner tonight, I thought it would be as good a place as any to start.

This is a recipe I'm trying out for the first time from "The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook", written by Sharon Kramis & Julie Kramis Hearne. It's a great cookbook filled with recipes for your cast iron cookware. I first heard about it from a Girl Scout Leader I trained with and so far, I've enjoyed every recipe I've made or had from it. I'm also testing "rub with love" Steak Rub I recieved from my mom (along with a salmon rub and a poultry rub) at Christmas time on some nice steaks I thawed out this morning. Hopefully, the daylight will hold out long enough to get a good photo or two to share with you as well.

I threw all the ingredients in my bread machine and set it to "dough" this afternoon, just before the kids got home from school. I didn't make any changes this time around as the ingredients remind me of my favorite foaccacia recipe (besides, I generally do try to follow a new recipe the first time I make it), but I might play with it next time.

Ooooohhhh, this bread was so good! The cast iron skillet gave the bread a wonderful, crisp exterior but it was moist and spongy inside. So delicious! Incidentally, it was VERY much like the foccacia I usually make (a Frugal Gourmet recipe from back in the day), but it makes just one loaf - perfect for a family dinner.

Herbed Skillet Bread

1 tbls sugar
1 cup warm water (105 degrees F), divided
1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp bulk yeast)
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 tsp sea salt, divided (I actually used Kosher, so I guess I did change something)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbls olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water, the flour, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Stir until well blended and the mixture forms a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Add additional flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise 45 minutes.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or cast iron dutch oven) with 1 tbls olive oil. Place dough in skillet and press to bottom of pan. With a sharp knife, score the top lightly in a crisscross pattern. Brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with garlice, rosemary and remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt. Let rise for 20 minutes.

While bread is rising, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Place skillet in hot oven and bake 20-25 minutes until crust is a light golden color. Remove from pan right away and place on wire rack to retain crisp crust. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, slice into wedges and serve warm.

Want to use your bread machine to mix the dough? Here are the dough ingredients broken out from the topping to make it easier:

1 Cup warm water (105 degrees)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBLS Sugar
1 pkg yeast

2 cloves garlic, thinly slices
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt (I actually just liberally sprinkled the top with salt - I didn't measure)

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