There are a few go-to menus for our Tapas Monday dinners. If it is a busy evening, the menu is charcuterie and fruit. If I have a couple hours free before dinner, I often go with a Greek menu that includes homemade pita bread. Another menu that makes regular appearances consists of Italian dishes. What dishes fill the menu depend on my schedule. If I have time early in the day, there might be meatballs. If there is time in the evening, there could be focaccia.
Last week I had a few hours at home pre-dinner. With chilly weather lingering, it was a good night to make a yeast dough. The smell of the dough rising and baking gives an additional layer of the warmth to the house. Paired with an eggplant-ricotta creation, homemade marinara, and a balsamic/olive oil dip, this made for a hearty and flavorful Tapas Monday menu.
The herbs that are used to top the focaccia can be changed to align with your favorite flavors. Mix and match to your heart’s (and stomach’s) desire.
- 1-1/2 cups flour, plus additional
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1-1/4 tsp. rapid rise yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 – 1 Tb. olive oil
- 1/2 Tb. oregano
- 1/2 Tb. basil
- salt & pepper
- Combine flour, water, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on speed 2. Add extra flour, a couple tablespoons at a time, until dough clings to the hook.
- Knead for an additional 4 minutes on speed 2.
- Remove dough from bowl, grease sides of bowl with olive oil.
- Return dough to bowl, and flip to coat top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot to rise for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease quarter-sheet pan with olive oil.
- Transfer dough to pan and stretch to cover the bottom. Using fingers, make indents into top of dough.
- Top with olive oil, then sprinkle with herbs, salt, and pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.