Rosemary Focaccia

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The second recipe from Travis’s “Fireside Feast” Raddish kit was for focaccia – a true, yeast bread. I was quite impressed, since I didn’t make bread with yeast until I was in my twenties, and here I was coaching my four-year-old through the process!

The recipe said to start with warm water, and from my own baking days, I always make sure that the temp is between 100 and 110 degrees F before adding yeast. Travis loved helping use my thermometer, watching it inch up to 100.

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We put the warm water in a bowl and added 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 packet yeast, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. This was a great chance to talk about yeast: that it’s actually an alive microorganism. Travis couldn’t believe it, and loved learning that the yeast eats sugar, and then dies once it’s heated in the oven.

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Next we stirred in 4 and 1/4 cups flour and 1 tablespoon salt to the yeast mixture.

Turn the dough out onto a surface and knead for 8 minutes; the recipe helpfully featured kneading directions on the back. I was so proud of Travis getting the little heels of his hands right in there! This was definitely a messy recipe, but so worth the fun we had!

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Set the dough aside to rise for 1 hour, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Not in the recipe but a helpful tip: coat your bowl with cooking spray so the dough doesn’t stick.

Coat a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and turn the dough out onto the sheet. Flip over so both sides are coated in oil, and pat to the edges of the pan. Use your fingers to make holes in the dough, pressing all the way through to the pan.

Next we needed to explore rosemary. Your child can help strip the rosemary leaves from the stalks, and you can talk about the smell and appearance of it. Then mince to equal 1 tablespoon.

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Sprinkle the rosemary over the dough, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan sprinkles. Bake at 400 degrees F for 17 minutes.

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The recipe was done, but not the fun! The card suggested truly making this a fireside feast, but failing to have a fireplace in our apartment, I drew one on craft paper, and set up tealights and a picnic blanket.

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Travis loved that this was where we had dinner! We even added ambient sound from the internet for a crackling fire, and talked about how gathering at fires is one of the oldest human traditions alive. I asked Travis about other traditions he could think of, and we settled on singing songs.

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To continue the “fireside” fun, we returned at dessert time. This was super cozy, with mugs of hot cocoa, plus roasted chestnuts and marshmallows, even though we didn’t actually roast them over our fire.

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We played a round of Charades, and read a winter book (Jan Brett’s The Snowy Nap) for extra hygge points. Once again, I’m quite impressed with the depth of each lesson and recipe in Raddish Kids. Stay tuned for the final Fireside Feast recipe soon!

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