Alex has wanted to have mussels for quite some time – we got some frozen that are such a cinch to whip up, and they’re actually rather good – but I kept telling him no. I couldn’t get myself to be in the mood for them when he wanted them, so I just kept telling him we needed a good, crusty bread to go along with them. Every time I went to the store, then, he’d immediately ask if I purchased crusty bread. Of course, I never think of it when I’m out.. so I told him I’d make a nice focaccia. Then, of course, came the relentless questioning of when I would be making this focaccia. I finally got around to it yesterday.
Devo Olive Oil was kind enough to send me some of their Hojiblanca-Intenso Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and it seemed like such a perfect fit for this bread. Being a lovely, robust Spanish olive oil, I figured I ought to spice the focaccia with some traditional spices used in Spanish cuisine.
I chose garlic, chili peppers, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper for the key flavors in this bread. Together, they made a lovely blend, very aromatic, with just the right amount of kick.
This bread is perfect for dipping in olive oil or paired with seafood. It was perfect with the mussels; it soaked up all of the juices, and the spices really went well with them.
This also went extremely well with roasted tomatoes, which I will be sharing later. The possibilities are endless for this bread! It’d probably make some brilliant sandwiches. Grilled cheese, anyone? Mm.
I promise this is so easy to make, too, even though it does need to rise twice. I put it out in the sun, and it rose in no time! There’s no reason not to make some fancy homemade bread – hands on time is only about 20 minutes, and your house will smell like it for hours.. mmm.