BITES
1 LOAF | TOTAL TIME 16 HOURS


You’ve focaccia be kiddin’ me


There’s a first time for everything. In this case, focaccia bread wasn’t the only thing getting a rise.




Ingredients
The dough:
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
5 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

The brine:
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup lukewarm water


Preparation
1. Stir yeast and sugar into the 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

2. Whisk flour and kosher salt in big bowl until combined

3. Stir in water mixture into the flour mixture (use wooden or plastic spoon)

4. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil (some will not fully mix into the dough)

5. Put plastic wrap over bowl and let rest for 12-14 hours
After 12-14 hours

1. Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to pan. 12x17 is what i use

2. Gently release the dough from the bowl on to the pan

3. Stretch the dough out to the end of the pan and for the next 30 minutes if the dough retracts keep stretching it out to the end of the pan

4. Make dimples in the bread with your fingers

5. Make the brine (dissolve salt in water)

6. Pour over focaccia and brine for 45 minutes. 

7. 30 minutes into the brine preheat oven to 450F.

8. Cook focaccia for 22-25 minutes.

9. Remove focaccia from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes.

Note: good for 2-3 Days. Anol just the tip: if you have any left, make croutons!


“oh sorry Alex, I just didn’t think you hugged boys.”


You got to focaccia be kidding me if you think I would ever forget this moment.


Let me set the scene. Seventh grade. A true time to be alive. At the end of the school day, my group of gals and I were saying goodbye to da boyz in our friend group. I stood in the back, timid for a lad to come over and give me a hug. No one did. As my true homie of a friend questioned one of the boys who neglected to give me a goodbye, he responded with:


“Oh sorry Alex, I just didn’t think you hugged boys.”


Like what the fuck is that supposed to mean? Sure I wasn’t hugging people all over the place but I hugged people! Boys and girls. I was no hug prude. Maybe no one was offering. Maybe I was shy. Maybe the fucker could see something I couldn’t.


Let me digress for the sake of context.


I spent a lot of time growing up questioning why I didn’t feel the way my friends felt. Throughout middle school I had a group of gal pals that I love with all my heart. We were a fearless pack in the midst of Junior High and puberty. Well… I should say their puberty. I rocked that flat chest, that baby fat, and full mouth of braces for far too long.


As we started to navigate the dating pool, I followed their lead. I found a boy to be my boyfriend. We barely spoke in public, would text until the wee hours of the night, and I said I love you like 50 times a day. I was trying, but it always felt like I was going through the motions. Boys doing ollies and wearing snapbacks just did not do it for me as it did for my friends. The boys noticed it too. Hence the “I just didn’t think you hugged boys.”


I kept trying. I felt like I had to keep trying. I’ll even admit that part of me kept trying well into my college years.


Why would it never work out? Was I just weird? What the fuck was keeping me from being a “regular” flipping teenager?


It was Kate Walsh.


Grey’s Anatomy was hitting the peak of TV greatness. Seasons 1-3 uh duh. During the summer months, I would watch the discs on my portable DVD player until the wee hours of the morning. My pubescent eyes were glued to the little screen as the season one finale revealed that Derek had a wife (yeah yeah spoiler alert but if you haven’t watched this by now I have no sympathy).

But not just any wife, world-class neonatal surgeon with board certifications in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal and fetal medicine, Dr. Addison Montgomery.  When she walked on screen in that black gucci dress with absolute confidence and badassery, I was a frickin goner.


What was this feeling? So sudden and new? (Lol wicked) Why did I feel like I was going to poop out my heart? I finally felt what I wanted, but it would take a while for me to feel comfortable with that. There’s an endless list of things out in the world that question perceptions of normalcy. And for the most part, it’s easy to see that you don’t fit. But soon you’ll see that the people in my life helped me create my own box. I’ll be forever grateful to them, as well Kate Walsh.





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Mark