Sometimes when life feels like it's accelerating, all I crave is simplicity. Sometimes I just want to make all the things that make my life complicated go away, but then of course I wouldn't have a blog, or a job, or be taking any classes. In other words, I would be a blob. A bored, unhappy blob, at that.

    So what I do when I want to simplify is reorganize. I clean my room, so that I can actually walk around it without stubbing any toes. I get out a nice, blank sheet of paper and write up a to-do list of all the little things that are making my brain itch. On my to-do list, I write make focaccia.

    When it comes to simplicity, you can't beat focaccia. It has just a handful of ingredients, all of which can be found in the average pantry. No trips to the store. One bowl. Mixing the dough by hand. A hot oven and a baking sheet. The scent of rosemary and olive oil. Done.

    The recipe I used was the same basic recipe I use for pizza dough: Peter Reinhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough, as seen on 101 cookbooks. Of course, I simplified it.

1+3/4 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
4+1/2 cups flour
1+1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for rubbing on the dough prior to baking)
1 tsp dried rosemary

    Pour the yeast into the measuring cup with the warm water, and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the water with yeast, as well as the olive oil. Mix well with your hands until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
    After two hours, the dough should have doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. With floured hands, punch the dough down and divide it in half. Put one ball in a ziplock bag in the freezer, to use another time. Again, flouring your hands, take the remaining dough and stretch it gently between your hands to make a flat, thin oval of dough on a large cookie sheet. The oval should be about 1/2 inch thick.
    Brush olive oil onto the oval, then turn the dough over and brush  the other side with olive oil. Use a fork to poke holes through the dough every few inches. Sprinkle rosemary onto the dough, and put the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake at 450 degrees F  for about 7-10 minutes, until the bread is turning light brown around the edges. Allow to cool slightly before eating. Bread can be stored in a plastic bag at room temperature for a few days. Enjoy it plain, dipped in soup, or made into a sandwich!