Saturday, September 01, 2012

Roasted Veg Focaccia and Bum Arm

It's been quiet here at FME lately. one reason has been the delightful visit of Captain Jack and the Birthday Girl, but there is also the unfortunate matter of the bum arm. Have gotten moderately good at typing with only my right hand because a combination of accidents (apparently now insurance companies no longer call them injuries...they are accidents) starting with too tight a grip on an unfamiliar golf club, followed two weeks later with lifting a box which was much heavier than I knew. Had an x-ray yesterday at the hospital. With the Labor Day weekend, it will probably be Tues. before I hear back from the doc. This was a week after the doctor asked me to do a wait and see while resting the arm, which was 4 days after the box related injury, so it will be over two weeks after that I find out if anything is fractured! Guess I should have gone to the ER the day of the injury. Live and learn. Send chocolate!

On a lighter note, before all the serious stuff, I baked King Arthur Flour's Roasted Vegetable Focaccia using squash and grape tomatoes and basil from the garden. It has a lovely crust, a nice light & chewy texture and the veggies were a great topping.

When I make it next time I'm going to add fresh rosemary to the dough and sprinkle Parmesan on top of the veggies to bake on...will probably put the tomatoes on the dough at the same time as the squash, too. Putting them on later meant the slid off the crusted dough instead of sinking in.

Roasted Veg Focacciafrom King Arthur Flour


1/2 cup cool water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

all of the starter (above)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water*
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
*Use 1 tablespoon less water in summer (or in a humid environment), 1 tablespoon more in winter (or in a dry climate).

3 pounds zucchini, about 6 medium zucchini*
olive oil
Pizza Seasoning, optional
2 bunches scallions, root ends trimmed*
1 pound cherry tomatoes*
shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
*Don't stress over exact amounts here; more or less of any of these ingredients is fine.

1) To make the starter: Mix the water and 1/16 teaspoon yeast, then add the flour, stirring until the flour is incorporated. The starter will be paste-like; it won't form a ball.

2) Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; the starter will be bubbly. If you make this in the late afternoon, it'll be ready to go by the next morning.

3) Combine the risen starter with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed.

4) Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.

5) Gently deflate the dough, and allow it to rise for another hour; it should have doubled in bulk from its original volume.

6) Sometime during the dough's rise, prepare the vegetables. Trim the zucchini, and slice about 3/4" thick. Toss with olive oil; sprinkle with Pizza Seasoning (or other dried herbs), if desired. Spread the zucchini, in a single layer, on a lightly greased baking sheet.

7) Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Toss them with olive oil and Pizza Seasoning or dried herbs. Place them, cut-side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut the scallions into 2" to 3" pieces. Toss in oil, sprinkle with herbs, and place on the baking sheet along with the tomatoes.

8) Place the vegetables in a preheated 400°F oven. Bake the zucchini, turning it over once, until it's golden brown. This will take about 60 minutes. Bake the scallions and tomatoes until they're starting to brown and soften, about 25 to 30 minutes.

9) Remove the vegetables from the oven, use a spatula to gently loosen them from the pan, and set them aside.

10) Lightly grease an 18" x 13" rimmed baking sheet (half-sheet pan) with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Drizzle olive oil atop the spray; the spray keeps the bread from sticking, while the olive oil gives the bottom crust great crunch and flavor.

11) Gently deflate the dough. Pull and shape it into a rough rectangle, and pat it into the pan. As soon as it begins to fight you and shrink back, stop patting. Wait 15 minutes; pat the dough farther towards the edges of the pan. Repeat once more, if necessary, until the dough is close to covering the bottom of the pan.

12) Place the zucchini atop the dough. Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rise until it's very puffy, almost billowy. This will take about 2 to 3 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

13) Place the pan on a lower rack in your oven, and bake the focaccia for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, top with the scallions and tomatoes, return to the oven, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust around the edges (and showing between the vegetables) is golden brown.

14) Remove the focaccia from the oven, and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: one focaccia, 8 to 10 servings.

Notes: I used my sourdough starter instead of the starter in the recipe. I forgot the Parmesan shards.
I didn't have any scallions, so used yellow onion, minced, instead. Still yummy!


  1. Anonymous7:23 PM


    This looks colorful and yummy!

  2. Those yellow zucchini look gorgeous! And so does the focaccia. Parmesan shards and rosemary sound good too but I wonder what a little mint and feta would be like on this instead.

    I sure hope your arm is better soon. That sounds terrible. But at least you have all these beautiful vegetables to comfort you. To me, they look easily as good as chocolate!