Boy received some professional, life altering, bad news this past Friday. Obviously, I wanted to be a supportive wife and do something nice to help cheer him up. I wanted him to remember, that no matter what, I am always here for him. We have been through worse times, and regardless of the obstacle or devastation, we will always weather the storm. Together. Besides, he couldn’t get rid of me even if he tried. I’m entirely too stubborn.
So, I wanted to cheer Boy up, but I had absolutely zero idea what to do to accomplish that goal. So naturally, I googled “how to cheer someone up”. This is the list I found. No offense to whomever created that list, but really?! Why don’t you add ‘catch fire flies together’ as well? Lame. However, I did end up reading the list to Boy and we had a good laugh, so I guess there’s that.
Since google provided absolutely zero inspiration to provide cheer, and I was left to my own creative devices, I turned to the thing I know, and do, best. Cooking. I contemplated baking cookies, or maybe searing a big, fat, juicy steak , but ultimately I decided on making bread. You see, Boy is like a lot of us, a carb-oholic. Recently he has been eating buttered bread like it’s the cool new thing to do, and he desperately wants to be part of the “in” crowd. I’m talking half a loaf a day, easy.
However, I didn’t want to make just plain sandwich bread. I wanted the bread I made for my honey to be special. I mean, this was supposed to be a bread so magically delicious it would turn his frown upside down. What I came up with was this – No Knead Goat Cheese, Pistachio and Rosemary Focaccia. Boy loved this bread and declared, while stuffing his face, he would not be sharing… so I am pretty sure I accomplished my mission to bring cheer. 🙂
This focaccia is seriously delicious. The texture is exactly how I like my focaccia to be: dense and chewy, yet soft and tender. However, the toppings are what really make this bread special. The focaccia is creamy, tangy and decadent from the goat cheese, salty and crunchy from the pistachios, and earthy and well balanced from the rosemary. Overall, this bread is hearty and spectacularly scrumptious.
As if all that wasn’t enough jazz, the bread is made even better because it is a no knead bread. Yes, you heard me right. No kneading necessary. Simply stir the focaccia ingredients together in a large bowl, walk away and let it do its yeasty thing. If that isn’t #Winning, I don’t know what is.
Also, this focaccia is customizable. Don’t fancy goat cheese (because you must be nuts)? Swap it out for parmesan or Asiago. Pistachios not really your thing? Try cashews or walnuts. Don’t care for Rosemary? Switch it out for thyme or dill. Or, you could get really crazy and nix those ingredients all together. Instead, opt for sundried tomatoes, black olives, red onions, roasted red pepper… or you could keep it seriously simple with just sea salt and some balsamic. The world is your oyster and this focaccia is your blank canvas.
Regardless of how you chose to top your focaccia, I can guarantee you are going to love it. So don’t knead some dough with me and instead, cheer yourself up by stirring together some fantastically fresh and delicious Focaccia. Until next time, cheers and happy baking!
Goat Cheese, Pistachio & Rosemary Focaccia
- 17.5 ounces Bread Flour (about 3 ¼ cup + 2 TBS)
- ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast
- ¾ tsp Granulated Sugar
- ½ ounce Kosher Salt (about 1 TBS + 1 tsp)
- 11.5 ounces Water – divided (about 1 ½ cups minus 1 TBS)
- ¼ Cup + 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil – divided
- 4 ounces Goat Cheese – crumbled
- 1/3 Heaping cup Pistachios – shelled and roughly chopped
- 1 TBS Fresh Rosemary Leaves – finely chopped
- ½ tsp Coarse Sea Salt , plus more to taste
- Preparing Dough: Heat ¼ a cup of water to between 105-110 degrees F, either in the microwave or on the stove. Sprinkle in yeast and granulated sugar. Stir to combine. Set aside and allow the yeast to bloom for 5-10 minutes, or until mixture is foamy and yeast is activated and alive.
- In a large bowl* combine flour, salt, and remaining water (1 ¼ cup minus 1 tablespoon). Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add in the yeast water and stir again to combine until all ingredients are moistened. *Bowl should be at least 5 times larger than the volume of the dough to account for rising.
- Rising: Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, set aside, and allow to rest at room temperature for 8-24 hours, or until dough has drastically risen. (mine took about 12 hours)
- Remove the plastic wrap and discard. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a small amount of flour and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
- Flour hands liberally and form the dough into a tight ball by tucking the dough up and underneath itself and rotating dough. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on top of the dough and rub to smooth over.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the bottom of a 12’’ cast iron skillet or large cake pan. Transfer the dough, seam side down, to the skillet and turn gently to coat in oil.
- Using your palm, gently press dough down to flatten it slightly. Cover the skillet tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough stand, at room temperature, for 2 hours or until dough mostly fills the skillet. When 30 minutes is left of standing time, adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 525 degrees F.
- Topping & Baking: Using your fingertips gently press the top of the dough to make indentations and to help the dough completely fill up the skillet. Lift up the edges of the dough to let any air bubbles underneath escape. Use your finger tips to pop all the air bubbles that rise to the surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle the goat cheese and pistachios evenly over the dough, using your fingertips to press cheese and nuts into the dough. Drizzle the dough evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, the bottom is well browned (lift it with a thin spatula to check) and the internal temperature of bread is 190 degrees F, about 16-24 minutes. If the bread is getting too brown too quickly, tent the skillet with aluminum foil. If the top of the bread is fully cooked and golden brown, but the bottom is not as crispy as desired, transfer the skillet to a burner over medium heat and cook until crisped, about 1-3 minutes.
- Let bread rest in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
*Recipe adapted from Serious Eats
*Bread can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in an oven preheated to 300 degrees for 8-12 minutes.