Recipe: Spelt focaccia

Dough, pre-rise.
Dough, pre-rise.

I made this to accompany one of my favorite soups, one I always request when I go home for winter breaks: a quasi-bouillabaisse, starting with onions, peppers, celery, and carrots, then simmered with tomatoes, oregano and bay, and finally  made hearty with crab meat and shrimp.

Shaped, dimpled, brushed with olive oil and oregano, and sprinkled with pink salt.
Shaped, dimpled, brushed with olive oil and oregano, and sprinkled with pink salt.

It didn’t rise quite as much as I’d hoped, but I guess I should have expected that; spelt has a distinct tendency to rise out instead of up, particularly during the second rise, and the yeast I was using was kind of old. Still, it was pretty darn good with the soup, and the leftovers made great sandwiches over the following days!

Done! It's pretty flat, but tasted good and went very well with soup!
Done! It’s pretty flat, but tasted good and went very well with soup!

Spelt Focaccia

Adapted from Nature’s Legacy for Life and Cook Almost Anything.

Yield: 1 loaf.

2.25 tsp active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 c spelt flour (I used half wholegrain, half white)
Kosher or other large-grained salt
~1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or oregano

In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm water, honey, 1 Tbsp oil, flour, and a pinch of salt and stir until a dough forms. Knead just until smooth, about 1 minute. Oil the bowl and return the dough to it, turning to coat in oil. Let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

In the meantime, combine remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and your topping herb of choice and let sit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the sheet and form into a roughly 12 inch by 8 inch oval. Dimple the surface with your fingertips, then top with the rosemary and olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Place in a warm place to rise for another 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until loaf is lightly browned all over.

Serve warm.

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