I cook things, photograph them, and put them on this blog so you can make them too, if you want. I have a master's in food studies, hate the word "authentic," and love pierogis. I also run Chicago Food Bloggers.


Chicago Blogger Network


cracked pepper rosemary focaccia

I think if there is anything we can all agree on, aside from how to balance the budget (print more money), it is that there are not enough celebrities on magazine covers. So many times I am at the supermarket checkout counter picking organic mushrooms in my backyard garden, and I glance at the covers of the magazines on the racks, which are in my garden, and I think, "These are nice and all, but where are all the celebrities?" It just seems like every magazine is covered in important, hard-hitting, intelligent news stories and necessary discussions about issues that really matter and affect people's lives. That's definitely what it seems like.

And don't get me started on the food magazines, which all seem to have pictures of food on the cover. It's like putting a car on a car magazine. Where are the celebrities, Gastronomica? That's a nice pork chop, Saveur, but can a pork chop interview Halle Berry about life post-Oscar? I'm glad you found the perfect recipe for Hungarian goulash, Cook's Illustrated, but did you ever think to ask Gwyneth Paltrow what she thinks of Hungarian goulash ("As an Englishwoman and working mother, Jay-Z and I think it's very important to serve organic Hungarian goulash in a Tiffany box. Goop." -Gwyneth Paltrow)

Luckily, the revamped Bon Appétit may or may not be remedying this gross injustice. "There might be a celebrity on the cover next month, I'll leave it at that," new editor Adam Rapoport told Eater. Which means there will definitely be a celebrity on the cover of Bon Appétit next month. Finally. (Does anyone get the feeling that the reason he doesn't want to say is because he is afraid of how mad everyone will get? That's a good way to gauge the correct thing to do. "Is everyone going to be very mad about this idea? Perfect.")

Anyway, hopefully in between all of the important coverage of celebrities they will find room for a few recipes. Or maybe they will have a recipe from a celebrity! But then all of the readers' heads will explode, probably.

"In the olden days, to get our Bon Appétit magazines, we had to walk up hill both ways with hot potatoes in our pockets, or something. And it was printed on paper! Do you know what paper is? (coughing). Nevermind. Anyway, they used to have real recipes in the magazine. Can you believe it? There was one I remember, it was a cracked pepper rosemary focaccia, in the February 2001 issue. Isn't that interesting?"

"Shutup, Grandpa."

Cracked Pepper Rosemary Focaccia

adapted from bon appétit 

+ 2 cups warm water (105°F to 110°F)
+ 1 tablespoon quick-rising dry yeast
+ 1 tablespoon honey
+ 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
+ 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling over the top
+ 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling over the top
+ 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
+ 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, gently stir the 2 cups warm water, yeast and honey together. Set aside for 5 minutes until the mixture is foaming.

With the mixer on low, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of cracked pepper and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Continue stirring until the mixture is incorporated. Add one cup of the flour and stir until fully incorporated. Now start adding the remaining flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until the dough is soft yet slightly tacky and elastic - you can turn the mixer to medium when it starts to come together. You may not need all of the flour - use your best judgment.

Oil a large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl, turning once to coat all of the dough in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area. Let rise for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Oil a large sheet pan. Slide the dough onto the prepared pan. Using the tips of your fingers, gently push the dough to (mostly) cover the sheet pan. Press your fingers randomly over the top of the dough to dimple it. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary and a light dusting of kosher salt and cracked pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 15-20 minutes, or until the dough is puffy.  

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Bake the focaccia until browned and crusty, about 30 minutes. Cut into sticks or slices and serve.

makes 1 large loaf (enough for about 8 people)

Reader Comments (10)

Beautiful focaccia. I love the rosemary pepper combo.

April 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkita

But I like photos of food as the cover of photography magazines and not the celebrities.. For me its the styling and photography of the food on the cover that attracts me to food magazines...I personally don't want to change that...:D.

Btw focaccia looks great...:)

April 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterann @ Foodieann

Thanks, Kita! Freshly cracked pepper is one of my favorite things in the universe. I just bought "Tartine Bread" over the weekend so I'm going to begin the starter this week!

April 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

I couldn't agree more, Ann. When I get a knew food magazine, the first thing I should be is hungry to cook and eat. If people want celebrity news, it's not like there aren't other options.

It's a cliche now, but I miss Gourmet.

April 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

This focaccia looks simply divine! Seriously, just came in for a run and I could devour a bowl on my own.

I am such a design girl that the photography has to really pull me in on a cover. As well as their text, the colors they use. I'm a visual being. People or food, the think just has to look good to really excite me.

April 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClarkie @ Beloved Green

Thanks, Clarkie! That's why Gourmet was so great - they took design chances, particularly with Ruth at the helm. It just seems like more celebrities on covers will blend in with the 500 million other celebrity magazines on the news stand. I don't mind people on the cover - but put Gabrielle Hamilton on if Bon Appetit is so proud to have an essay by her.

April 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

WOW this looks incredible and I MUST have this recipe! I really love your blog and looking forward to your future posts! :)

May 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Thanks, Kelly! Your blog is great as well! I will be making the walnut-crusted chicken! Thanks for the Foodbuzz add.

May 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

I made your beautiful and easy to prepare focaccia, but I had to turn down the heat of my oven! This has never happened before I usually use the recommended temperature. Otherwise it was delicious and the cracked pepper adds a different touch. Love to make breads, any good recipes for whole wheat focaccia?

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBianca

Hmmm, I didn't have an issue with the temp and that part of the recipe hasn't changed from the original. Thank goodness you are a cook who checks and adjusts! I'm glad you liked it! Have you tried this whole wheat focaccia from King Arthur: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chicken-saltimbocca-on-whole-wheat-focaccia-recipe

I haven't, but King Arthur's recipes are always great! They test them like crazy.

December 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>