Freshly baked Focaccia Bread Sandwich with Zucchini Chips

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Foodies ,what we have on our menu today is a simple but one of  our worst savoury vices 🙂 Focaccia Bread sandwich along with Zucchini Chips 🙂 A complete meal in itself  😉

We both are big bread lovers and talking of zucchini … I doubt I have come across any vegetarian who is not a zucchini lover 🙂  Sakshi is still decent with it but I’m a little too crazy 🙂  Actually if I be honest about my eating habits, ‘a little too crazy’ is an understatement 😉

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Foodies when it comes to breads, it is kind of a staple food for me 😉 This is one more food I absolutely love but it comes second to my first love pizza. But who can stop at just one slice when it comes to breads and that too focaccia?  One of my favourite bakery-bought splurges is focaccia bread 🙂 The crusty outside,the chewy interior, and all of the flavours from herbs 🙂 Divine taste 🙂

In fact when there’s a loaf in the house I start off with cutting off a piece just a little piece, and then another piece, and then another, and then of course I have to even the row and eat another one 🙂 I just can’t stop myself.  After all,who can manage to stop at just one piece? So needless to say, but I love to hang out at Italian places. It may sound funny but even before the starters I’m impatient for the bread basket that is served at every good Italian place. And the ones that serve Focaccia in their bread basket top my list 🙂 But I strongly dislike those Italian places where they make you wait until and unless you ask them yourself to get the bread basket.

I still remember before wedding when I was given a limited Italian meal for lunch by my dietician. I had to look beautiful and be in the best shape 😉 I adored my dietician for respecting my craving for Italian food. I was out for lunch that day with my fiancé to our favourite Italian restaurant. We made ourselves comfortable. I was little uneasy as I was eagerly waiting for my bread basket to be served. Ten minutes passed after which I called them and asked for it. I was angry as this was our favourite Italian place and we never had to ask for it before. Finally my wait was over and the bread basket was right in front of me. As I ate, I shared with my fiancé my disappointment of not being served the bread basket on time. Hearing this fiancé smiled and said “I told them not to get it my fatso, as I knew for how difficult it is for you to resist it. And nowhere does your diet allow for these pre starters 🙂  so this time you dare complain to me if the weight increases and not decreases.” I was taken aback but I smiled back and said, “Stop being selfish 😉 I have lost quite a bit and I will manage to shed the remaining extra inches without having to compromise on my bread basket ;)” He started to laugh. We enjoyed a great meal. Though I had to skip my dinner to make up for the extra calories of the bread basket I enjoyed but it was worth it 🙂 only bread lovers can understand 🙂

So foodies nowadays as we were so eagerly deciding on what to share on our menu next, we thought it would be a good idea if we made focaccia ourselves and gave a break to the bakery-bought loaves 🙂

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Making Focaccia sandwich was another variation that came to our mind. And to serve the sandwich with healthy chips made out of zucchini was a perfect finish to the idea 🙂 Foodies, be it a sandwich or a burger it’s hard to have it alone. One needs to have it like a combo with fries or chips. Keeping this in mind, we decided to give potatoes some more rest in our kitchens and summer squash zucchini a real ride for making these amazing and yummy and crunchy chips.

So foodies as we all know Focaccia is flat oven-baked Italian bread, and is usually seasoned with olive oil and salt, herbs, and may be topped with fresh Rosemary, Parsley, Caramelized Onions, peeled garlic, cheese, or flavoured with a number of vegetables. It’s quite good looking too 😉 It is easy and fun to make at home, requiring no special utensils and making very little mess. Even if you have never made your own bread before, you very well might bake a great focaccia on your first try. But even if you don’t, you will certainly be making your own delicious homemade focaccia soon with our post 🙂

Because of its countless delicious variations and how easy it is to prepare, focaccia is enjoying a kind of renaissance. It has drawn quite a bit of attention to the humble ancestor of pizza. This staple of Italian cuisine has shown the world that simple, delicious food can conquer a giant.

Though, not unique to Mediterranean cuisine, Italy’s flat bread has always been popular in Italian homes. Focaccia’s appeal is no doubt due in part to the fact that the dough is so easy to prepare – requiring less kneading than regular bread – and it cooks much faster. The dough has a light, sour taste and is hand pressed to make all the little holes that give it the airy and puffy feel. Although originally most focaccia breads were unleavened due to the scarcity of yeast in early times, today yeast is always used in focaccia dough 🙂 Oh what did I just mention? Yeast….

Small little living organism..lol… You know why I say that? Because when my youngest sis in law asked me of how will I make Focaccia? In my answer I mentioned ‘yeast’ to her. She asked in surprise is it living? I bluffed with her that it is a living organism and you have to catch it 🙂 It keeps running all over your hands when you pick it and am going to leave it on her when I bring yeast home 🙂 I could see her face turning pale, her eyes bigger, and her sound… “ a……oooo…yak” I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop myself from finally telling her that I made up and I will definitely make her have a look at the yeast 🙂 She reminded me of my teens when I was full of such funny questions and learning “c” of cooking 🙂  lol….

But Foodies let me tell you that this small living organism has a good appetite of taking away your happiness when it comes to baking bread 🙂 You have to maintain a good repo with it and yes as it is living you should handle it with care 🙂 If you are wondering what do I mean by all of this I would like to ask you all .. Raise your hand if you are scared of Yeast when it comes to baking your own bread at home. Don’t feel embarrassed if you raise your hand for this 🙂 you are definitely not the only one! I’m not going to try and convince you that there’s nothing to be afraid of or that the satisfaction of a perfect loaf of bread is worth all the failed loaves that came before, but I will make a confession –  I, too feared yeast… and so raising my hand too while writing this post 🙂

Foodies there’s nothing like baking your own bread but it all depends upon your yeast. When we made it for you all together it was a fab experience. I believe it was so because of Sakshi (she has quite a good repo with yeast ) 🙂 As we were so happy baking our own bread I decided to make few more by myself at home. But….. my effort failed twice…. When i kept my dough for fermentation, I realised (after two hours) the batter remained the same as I had kept it. There was no yeast activity. I was so disappointed. I m sure it must have happened with many of you and so you never tried making your bread again. Am I right? I sat and started thinking of all the possibilities that why it was not happening. The funniest thought was that our yeast falling for sakshi? Lol 🙂 And so I decided to use the same yeast that Sakshi had and that we used while baking our very own focaccia for this post. And there it was. The dough raise, the bread came out well with a wonderful smell of fresh bakery, proving that yeast actually liked sakshi 🙂  lol… jokes apart, I compared the yeast. Foodies where we used active yeast to make the perfect ones, I tried using dry yeast. It may sound unpleasing to some that this was the actual reason. Even to my surprise it actually was. I often use dry yeast when it comes to jalebies or donuts. But I personally believe that when it comes to baking your own bread Active Yeast is something you should be definitely using. Foodies you have to try this focaccia without being scared of yeast. We have made every effort to help you make your own focaccia through our this recipe and tips on using yeast 🙂 Must read carefully and bake because it will get you a wonderful tasty focaccia in no time 🙂

Continuing on same note what is also common is the practice of dotting the bread. This creates multiple wells in the bread by using a finger or the handle of a utensil to poke the unbaked dough. As a way to preserve moisture in the bread, olive oil is then spread over the dough, by hand or with a pastry brush prior to rising and baking.

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Foodies baking your own focaccia and getting it fresh out of the oven is a special joy 🙂 when it’s worth the effort and can fit in perfect in just every meal. Just cut the baked focaccia into toaster-sized sections, and enjoy it with your morning coffee, or as a mid-morning snack 🙂  Also If you make your focaccia thick enough, it can be cut down the middle, opened, and stuffed with whatever you like for mid-day hunger 🙂 Day old bread can be toasted and used as croutons for a salad – You could always throw them on top of our Easy Caesar Salad Recipe. Another option is to cut into cubes and use in a bread pudding or strata.

The best of all is to use sheets of Focaccia for sandwiches 🙂  This is our favourite way of presenting it. Focaccia bread is sooo easy and tastes wonderful! Tons of herbs and seasonings, and tons of flavour and so great to make sandwiches with 🙂 You can alter the filling to your liking. We like to stuff it with cheese, cucumbers, onions, salad leaves and what not 🙂  And we often pull it off with delicious crunchy zucchini chips on the side. A truly delectable meal 🙂

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Foodies how about having a yummy superfood snack, like Oven Baked Zucchini Chips by side of your freshly baked focaccia sandwich 🙂 Zucchini is one of our summer vegetable favourites. With the perfect combination of seasonings, this mild-flavoured vegetable is turned into a tasty, crunchy treat 🙂 Skip the processed bag of chips, and replace it with these fantastic Oven Baked Zucchini Chips 🙂 They are only 99 calories per serving! Sounds good? Isn’t it  🙂

Foodies hope it goes without saying that we all need some crunchy, slightly salty chips from time to time. And if they are as healthy as almost negligible calories what more could you ask for 🙂

Breaded, oven-fried zucchini chips taste like they’re fried, yet they are baked and amazingly crispy. These chips make a healthy substitute for French fries or potato chips 😉 We may love them but why not replace them with something healthier and cut off on the unnecessary carbs 😉

Zucchini is a favourite of gardeners because it’s so impressive. It grows quickly and sometimes to staggering sizes. Though it’s my favourite for cooking with, because it’s low in calories. I m so talking like sakshi…huh…Am I not? But yes I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE zucchini, and could eat it in just about any form or fashion. However, I know there are many people unlike sakshi and me that have their minds made up that they hate vegetables, and they absolutely refuse to try them. Specially many people think of zucchini as bland and watery. Many think that it just doesn’t add much in terms of flavour. But Foodies get over this myth because we have recently discovered our new favourite way to enjoy zucchini! Yes, enjoy it! Because what’s more enjoyable than potato chips? This recipe of zucchini is equivalent of potato chips. They aren’t as hearty as potato chips and we wouldn’t use them for dipping, but they are very crisp and tasty. Thin slices of zucchini slowly cook, dehydrate and then crisp up in the oven 🙂  The results are very crisp thin chips, that have a mild flavour. The coating on these zucchini chips adds the perfect amount of golden brown ‘crunch’ on the outside, while the zucchini remain nicely roasted on the inside! Foodies we were suspicious, ever-mushy and damp zucchini? As chips? Without frying and only using a tiny bit of oil? As most of you must be reading this 🙂 But surprised 🙂 they looked beautiful. People seemed to universally rave about them. Making it in our kitchen for our perfect meal combo we felt proud 🙂

This recipe is way too simple and can be evolved as per your taste buds 🙂 Also the thinner the chips, more crumbs, more parmesan and sometimes less baking time than recommended. We also found that we could only reliably get “crisp” effect, one that lasted for a while, when we used less oil and bit more of bread crumbs. And foodies You’ll want to keep an eye on them and look for a good golden color before removing from the oven, which will ensure that they get and remain crisp. Another thing to consider with homemade chips is that as they are exposed to air after being dehydrated, they lose their crisp. If you end up with a chewy chip, you can always pop it back in the dehydrator or oven to re-crisp it. They are at their best on the first day, so you’re going to have to eat them all 🙂 We promise, you won’t mind 🙂

Also foodies a word of caution: be careful with the salt. With all that shrinking going on a little salt goes a very long way. Zucchini are 95% water. Think about it. All of that water must evaporate during the baking to have crispy chips. As the little slices shrink and become even littler, lots and lots of zucchini are needed to have a bowl full of these healthy baked chips. The only limit is the number of pans that can fit into your oven 🙂

Zucchini chips are Miss Foodies new favourite snack. You can flavour them with any spice you have in your kitchen. We made a mixture that consisted of pepper, paprika, chilli flakes and parmesan — it was yummy 🙂

These zucchini chips are the perfect if you’re craving something salty, and they taste great by themselves, or with a side of ketchup or marinara sauce! You could also try putting your own ’spin’ on the recipe by adding different kinds of spices to make them sweet and salty, or spicy 🙂

Low in cholesterol, fat, and saturated fat, this recipe is a win-win for both your heart and your waistline 🙂 Now who all want that? Miss foodies for sure 😉

So lets get to the recipe of our yummy combo 🙂  Freshly Baked Focaccia Bread Sandwich with Zucchini Chips :

Recipe1

Recipe2

Directions:

For the Focaccia bread:

  1. Sprinkle active yeast and sugar over warm water. Sugar helps in increasing activity of yeast. Let it stand for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. While kneading the dough, drizzle in the olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast water mixture and mix until just combined and the dough comes together in a very sticky mass.
  3. Form the dough into a ball, drizzle over olive oil and toss to coat the dough. Then cover the bowl tightly with the plastic wrap and set it aside for 1-2 hours.
  4. Pre heat oven at 400 degree F.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap (the dough will be puffy) and use your finger tips to spread the dough into the baking dish. Sprinkle olives on the top and gently pressing them into the dough. Drizzle the surface with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20-30 mins until  the focaccia is golden  brown.

For the sandwich:

  1. Cut  1/3rd of the focaccia vertically into a long loaf. Slit the bread from the centre.
  2. Place salad leaves, cucumber, tomato, cheese and sauces to make a sandwich.

Note: You can add any vegetable of your choice to make a sandwich

final process

Recipe3

Directions:

For Zucchini Chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degree F. Coat a baking tray with olive oil.
  2. Slice zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, combine the parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp for 25-30 mins. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Note: Be careful with your salt.

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So we hope you find our todays dish at the menu interesting individually as well as a lovely combo 🙂 Without further ado, start cooking our “legen……wait till you read it all….dary” 🙂 Legendary 🙂 combo.

Our perfect combo recipe is completely versatile 🙂

Focaccia and zucchini are our favourites. Focaccia gets you to perfectly baked and fresh bread in no time and requires very little from you 🙂 zucchinis make you realize that they could be so indulgent 🙂

Happy Meal Combo 🙂

Cheers!!!

Parul n Sakshi

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