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Chicken Soup and Focaccia

It was 9° outside when I left for work this morning.  Nine.  That’s one number.  A single digit.

C-O-L-D.

Okay…  Maybe not as cold as those of you on the tundra – or up there chipping ice from the Great Lakes – but nine degrees is really cold for this California boy.

Really cold.

Really cold is soup weather.  And Victor made really good soup and really good focaccia to warm me up when I got home today.

The soup was a fairly traditional chicken soup, but it had a fun twist…  eggs!

The pastina box had a variation for “Egg Drop Soup” that sounded fun.  After removing the soup from the heat, stir in a beaten egg, stirring with a fork in one direction.  Voila!  It worked!

It added that little bit of fun that every meal should have.

And it was hot and filling, rich and flavorful,  and just wonderful.

Along with the soup was a sheet of focaccia!

The focaccia recipe is the basic pizza dough from the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.  It is so simple, but works for pizza, focaccia, bread sticks…

Better Homes and Gardens Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2-3/4  to 3-1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  pkg.  active dry yeast
  • 1/2  tsp.  salt
  • 1  cup  warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
  • 2  Tbsp.  cooking oil or olive oil

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Lightly grease a large bowl; place dough in bowl and cover with a damp towel (make sure the towel does not touch the dough). Let dough rise in a warm place until double in size (30 minutes).

3.  Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16×12-inch rectangle. Place in a greased 16x12x1-inch baking pan.  Let rise 20 minutes.

4. Top with toppings of choice and bake at 375° about 25 minutes.

Victor topped it with some of the fried peppers I did a few days ago along with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese.

The nice thing about the focaccia – other than the fantastic taste – is the oven warmed up the kitchen nicely.

Did I mention it’s been cold outside?!?

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