Steamed Mussels with Fennel and White Wine
Steamed mussels are one of our favorite dinners. Make sure to grab some good bread to sop up the delicious broth!
You will not find an easier bread to make than focaccia. Why? Because it is delightfully and intentionally flat. No worrying about loaf pans. No worrying about whether the loaf is baked all the way through. Just look for a nice little browning around the edges.
If you want, you can play with this recipe by adding herbs, olives, tomatoes, cheese, or pretty much whatever you want to the top of the dough before baking. just remember to lightly press the toppings into the dough if they are non-melting items.
Here’s what you need:
– 2 tsp. yeast
– 2 cups warm water
– 5 to 5 1/2 cups of AP flour
– 2 tsp. salt
And for the top:
– a few tablespoons of olive oil
– a few pinches of coarse salt
Start by mixing the yeast and warm water in your mixing bowl. Set aside for ten minutes, so the yeast can foam.
Next, mix in the flour and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon or the dough hook on your mixer, if you have one. Keep mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl nearly cleanly. It should be smooth and not sticky. Knead or continue with the dough hook for about ten minutes to develop the gluten.
Take the dough out of the bowl momentarily (I just hold it in one hand) and spray the bowl down with nonstick cooking spray or add a tablespoon of oil and turn the bowl so the oil coats the size. Put the dough back in. Cover and allow to rise for two hours.
Prepare either one jelly roll-sized pan or two smaller baking sheets (or a stone, if you want). If you are using one of the metal pan options, grease them with a little bit of oil – this will do nice things for the crust of your bread. Flatten the dough with your fingers (you may want to grease them a little with the oil from the pan) and use your fingers to make some of those trademark dimples in the top of the loaf. Allow to rise for another 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 475 and bake for 20 minutes.
Adapted from epicurious.com.