it’s the first official snowy evening here in boston. i don’t like being in the snow, but i love seeing it. oh, and you know, taking photos of it.
it’s especially wonderful when you are the only one in the snow on campus.
the students are away for break, so i got to enjoy walking through campus and playing in the quad without interruption. it was beautiful and peaceful. i’m looking forward to the start of the spring semester and the return of their energy, but i’m diggin’ the calmness of campus right now.
it has been a mild winter, which i have enjoyed. but, that always comes at a cost. when it is mild, it never really feels like winter.
it feel like winter is finally here, even though december is coming to an end.
after snapping some photos and playing in the snow, i wrapped myself up in a blanket and drank hot cocoa. that’s my favorite part of snowy weather.
when it’s cold outside, all i want is something warm and hearty to eat. warm bread immediately comes to mind. i love breads that are pillowy and sweet. but, i decided to tweak this a bit by adding freshly ground pepper for a bit of a bite. i also crave that spiciness when it’s cold out. i hope you like it.
yield 4 healthy servings
ingredients for focaccia:
1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, and more for drizzling
2 small purple potatoes, thinly sliced
1 small onion
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup white cheddar or gruyere cheese, shredded (more if you like it extra cheesy)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
to make focaccia, combine dry yeast, warm water, and honey in a medium bowl. stir together and let sit until yeast starts to bubble on top, about 10 minutes. add flour, olive oil, salt, and pepper and stir until dough forms. turn dough out on a floured counter and knead until the dough is smooth. place in lightly oiled bowl and let rise for about an hour. the dough should double in size.
while your dough is rising, prepare toppings.
for onions, add 1 tablespoon of butter to a pan on medium low heat. cook onions until they turn a caramel brown color. these will go low and slow and take about 30-45 minutes. for potatoes, use a mandoline to get them thinly sliced. if you do not have a mandoline, a knife will do just fine. take thyme off the springs and run your knife through it.
preheat oven to 425. lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan. spread and press dough to fit. poke holes all over the dough. drizzle with olive oil and let rise again for 20 minutes.
top the dough with shredded cheese, potato slices, caramelized onions, and thyme. i topped the dough with them in that order, but any order will work just fine. season with salt and pepper. bake in oven for about 20 minutes, until the focaccia is golden brown. cool a bit before cutting into pieces and noshing.