|1987 Ford Ranger worth the wait to drive|
Before the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, Plaza Bakery proudly sat at the head of the Santa Cruz Pacific Garden Mall, prominently on the first floor of the Flatiron Building, opposite the Post Office. The new building has paid homage to the old in shape and design and I still expect to smell the warm yeast and sugar to come wafting from the doors, instead of the fruity, wheat grass concoctions of Jamba Juice. In my mind's eye, I can still see the counters of pastries, shelves of loaves and the bread slicer that rumbled and shook as it sliced our weekly purchases before they were slipped into a paper bag. We would get there early on Saturday mornings, while the bread was still warm and sometimes... just sometimes would eat a slice or two right out of the bag. Occasionally the baker would bake up some anchovy focaccia. Dad would nonchalantly order it up with everything else. It looked pretty, but smelled awfully fishy and as a child I wondered a combination of "what on earth? and "why would you?" as it sat beside me on the way home. Always generous, he'd offer me a slice and though I tried it a couple of times, it was not for me, or really for anyone but Dad. His own indulgent pleasure, like kipper snacks and soda crackers that no one else would even consider eating. Ever.
Times change, tastes change and I have begun to appreciate the little fish, so with vivid memory I set out to recreate the bread he loved so much.
|Focaccia with tomato sauce and anchovies|
|Coaxing the yeast to bloom|
The yeast took forever to bloom and the dough nearly two hours to rise the first time. So much for baking bread in the morning at my house! I have so much to learn. Perhaps the Society will encourage me along the way.
For the second, I was tasting the sweet caramelized onions as I visually scanned Lora's post and knew I must have some! Mixing it up a bit, I used a kalamata olive dough found on Epicurious (Gourmet 1997 Olive Focaccia Dough) and topped it with these threads of gold. The result was totally delightful, and when I do this again will use a smaller pan so it puffs up a bit more and, truthfully be more patient to let the dough actually double before baking.
|Kalamata Olive Focaccia with Caramelized Onions|
|A boy, a truck, and a dog.|
Breaking Bread Society
Gourmet 1997 Olive Focaccia Dough
Life's a Feast: Cherry Almond Focaccia