I love to bake, however, I usually bake sweet treats. Montreal has so many amazing bakeries (Boulangerie Guillaume is my current favourite) that it seems hard to justify sweating over a mountain of dough when you can pick up the best olive fougasse you have ever tasted for $2.95, just down the street! And, let's face it, I think most of us are a little wary of working with yeast - or is it just me? But whilst French style breads are well covered, I have yet to find somewhere that makes a trule awesome focaccia. I was browsing for some inspiration for a recent dinner party and this lemon and sea salt focaccia caught my eye, so I decided to suck it up, buy some yeast, and cross my fingers that the extreme heat and humidity would help, not hinder, the proving process.
And, the finished product!
It was incredibly delicious and I was thankful I had guests coming around - possibly the only thing that kept me from eating a whole slab. The lemon, sea salt and rosemary combination is a classic and it works well here too, especially with the olive oil. Ok, so I might have been a bit heavy-handed with the Sel Gris de Guérande (one of the few souvenirs I brought back from Paris) and next time I would amp up the rosemary, but what struck me about this recipe is how adaptable it is. Want a different herb combination - go ahead! Want to try a grape and chocolate studded focaccia - easy!
If you are afraid of yeast, don't be. Try this over the long weekend and let me know how it goes!