I have a confession to make.
I've been afraid of yeast. It's true.
For the longest time, I've been watching other bloggers post beautiful breads, doughnuts, bagels, pretzels, etc., etc. and I've been jealous.
That's one of the reasons I joined The Daring Bakers back in September. I was hoping to overcome my fear of yeast. I thought surely I'd be thrown in to a world of yeasted treats – then I'd have no excuse. I'd have to jump in and get over it.
And sure enough, my first challenge was a lavash cracker that included yeast. And though my batch came out all right, they were too thick and not quite right.
Then, my second challenge was pizza. Again, a yeasted dough. And while I thoroughly loved this challenge, my dough, again, wasn't quite right.
So, I decided to try again. I'd find a recipe that featured yeast and give it a shot.
Months ago, I saw Amber's post on Focaccia, a no-fuss recipe that looked simple enough. Yet, I bookmarked it and tucked it away in the corner of my mind. You see, I was still scared.
Finally, I convinced myself to give it a try. Why hide forever when I can keep trying until I get it right?
Luckily, this recipe really was no fuss. It worked like a charm! The bread came out light, airy and full of flavor!
Adapted from: King Arthur Flour, as seen on Amber's Delectable Delights
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
14 ¾ ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 white or yellow onion, frenched
3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and stems discarded
5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.
Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat at high speed for 60 seconds.
Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, until puffy.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger.
Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with additional herbs.
Bake the bread until it is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Stay tuned – there are more yeasty recipes to come!