mike kostyo

I know food.

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)