Food blog: Warm bread for winter days

Is there anything as nostalgic and comforting as a bowl of soup and a slice of hearty bread?  Growing up, I have fond memories of this classic pairing, and the smells of freshly baked bread and rich soup are two of my favourite aromas.  It’s no wonder that this meal staple has lasted centuries.

With nostalgia in mind, I’d like to share one of my favourite recipes to pair with a bowl of soup: rosemary focaccia bread.  I honestly believe the humble bread does not get enough credit for its versatility and taste. But not this time. The unique flavor and texture of this focaccia will definitely make it the star at your next soup pairing.  

I suggest munching on this bread with a creamy tomato soup or a broth-based soup like a chunky veggie stew. This bread is also great for buttered toast or for sandwiches.  

With double-digit minus degree weather upon us and thick foot-tall piles of snow outside, some soup and a warm slice of this bread are definitely one of my winter staples for some homemade comfort. Enjoy!

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

2 cups warm water

1 tbsp dry active yeast

1 tbsp granulated sugar

5 cups of white flour

¼  cup of olive oil, plus more for brushing on the bread,

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried rosemary

2 tsp fine salt

 

  1.  Add the water, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl and leave it to sit for 10 minutes.
    2.  Start adding in the flour and use the back of a wooden spoon to stir the dough. Knead it until the flour is fully incorporated.
    3.  Add in the ¼ cup of olive oil and continue kneading until the olive oil is fully incorporated.
    4.  Coat a 9×13 inch baking pan with olive oil and stretch your dough until it has molded to the pan. Leave to rise for one hour.
    5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once risen, with the back of a wooden spoon, punch some holes on the top of your dough.  
    6.  Brush the dough with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle on the oregano, rosemary and extra salt.
    7.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until you’re salivating because your house smells like a bakery or the bread is crispy and golden brown.

Photo by Rachel Yip