I’m continuing to have culinary adventures in my cozy kitchen. This time, I made focaccia, adapted from a recipe by Deborah Madison in her book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Instead of a mix of whole and white wheat (mostly white), I substituted all whole wheat, and instead of the classic addition of rosemary, of which I had none (horrors!) I worked with what I had, which was fresh thyme harvested right out of the snow in front of the house.
As with the transcendent tagliatelle, I used red fife wheat from my CSA share with Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain. I thought it would be fun to document the process of making it, so I asked Tom to take pictures. (Although I have realized that it would be really cool for me to take more of my own pictures for this blog, so I have just ordered a digital camera. It’s not as super-cool as Tom’s camera, but it is much less expensive and will probably be more than sufficient.)
The first task was hand-milling six cups of flour in the grain mill.
This was a great workout for my arms and shoulders. Tom also took a brief turn.
This is what the red fife wheat looks like before being milled into flour….
…and after being milled, it looks like this:
Then came the assembling of the other ingredients: water, yeast, salt, olive oil, and thyme. Time to mix and knead, knead, knead. Kneading is such a tactile pleasure. Lily wanted to check out what was happening, so she dragged over her little chair to stand on. Somewhere along the way, she disrobed. That seems to happen a lot lately.
Kneading proved irresistible. Lily jumped into the kneading action. She said we are just like Ben at Wheatberry.
Next, we let the dough rise. After the first rise, I rolled it out and put it on a baking sheet, then let it rise a second time. After that, it was time to make indentations in the dough with a very sophisticated tool used only by the top chefs around the world.
More olive oil was applied and brushed on top.
Into the oven.
Finally, voila, whole wheat focaccia with thyme! Quite tasty. I only wish I could eat more of it in one sitting, as I’m still trying to control carbs.
Cooking has been so fulfilling lately. Lily is completely taken with the lentil soup that I made recently. She’s developing quite the discerning palate. The child knows what good food is supposed to taste like. I’m lucky to have a child who clearly appreciates my cooking! Tom loves it too. Such joy in feeding my little family– I bask in the glow of them licking their chops and making happy noises. Of course, none of this goodness would be possible without the people who grew the ingredients, and the sun and rain and soil.