After spending years sitting deep in my cupboard, my stand mixer has finally taken permanent residence on my counter next to the stove. A few months ago, we went through a kitchen renovation where I was looking to squeeze out a few extra square feet of counter so that I can roll out noodles, frost cupcakes, pay the bills, meet with friends and basically do all my living. Not only am I doing all that but those banished house warming/wedding gifts are finally getting to see the light of day. And as a very creepy but intelligent man once said, “We begin by coveting what we see every day.”
Seeing that shiny red mixer everyday makes me want to open up a bakery. Kneading bread is a cinch with the electric motor doing all the work, and the results far outweigh the effort.
This recipe is remarkably low maintenance, and the longer you let the dough rise, the breadier it becomes. If you’re looking for a crispier, more flat bread result, then reduce the poufing time.
It’s not a coincidence that I decided to stud this dough with dried cranberries and glaze the top with cranberry sauce, but really, olives and sun-dried tomatoes would also be perfect here–and just about anything else you would see on top of a focaccia.
- 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1/2 c dried cranberries
- 3 tbs of cranberry chile de arbol sauce (regular cranberry sauce can also be used)
- Place yeast in the stand mixer bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of warm water in the bowl. Using a spatula, swish the yeast around in the water until dissolved. Add the sugar to the bowl, and let yeast mixture stand for five minutes.
- Add flour, salt, dried cranberries and rest of water(3/4 cup) to the bowl of yeast. Attach a dough hook to the mixer.
- Knead of low for 2 minutes. Knead on medium for 1 minute.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead gently a few times with floured hands (until the dough ball becomes smooth).
- Add a few drops of oil to a clean bowl, and drop the dough ball into the oiled bowl. Turn the dough around until it's covered lightly with oil.
- Cover bowl with saran wrap and let rise for an hour in a warm spot.
- Gently oil a 12 in skillet. Place dough in the skillet and using your fingers, stretch it out, creating an even layer. Spoon cranberry sauce over the dough and using the side of the spoon, press it into the dough.
- Cover skillet and let rise for 3-4 hours. Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
- Place skillet on the middle rack and bake for 20-25 minutes.