Blood Orange Focaccia

Blood Orange Focaccia

My last post inspired so many lovely comments! Thank you all for being so sweet and it’s great to see that I’m not the only one who struggles to read on a regular basis. You’ll be proud to know that I finished a whole book the other night and started a new one last night! Woo hoo! I’m on a roll.Β 

As nice and calm as the last post was, I’m going to raise a stink in this one. Actually, it’s more of a “discuss with me and others”/spirited rant. And I know we’ve discussed the etiquette of party attending and hosting before but I have new things to add. Funny how these posts come up shortly after I’ve held a party…

First off I’d like to ask you all, since many of you drink, would you go to a party whose hosts don’t drink? Is it a deal breaker for you or you think you are going to have a terrible time at the party? It’s a question that nags me a bit when I entertain friends who drink but we don’t. They seem to have a good time but it makes me wonder.

Blood Orange Focaccia

Over the weekend I had a few work friends come over for brunch. They all know my husband and I don’t drink and it doesn’t seem to bother them. In fact, between the pork and alcohol, there’s plenty of fodder for endless jokes at my expense. The ones who were present seem to enjoy the food and company. I think. I don’t know.Β 

So, every year, I host a New Year’s get together for friends but I also invite new friends, acquaintances, and neighbours. It’s a way to get to know someone a bit better. This year it was a couple of blogger friends, some close friends, work friends and friends I met through a British club.

I sent out the invites two weeks ahead of time, hoping for RSVPs in a timely manner. Many were good about it, some not so much. And I’m going to rant because the offenders don’t read my blog anyway. So, you get invited to a party two weeks ahead of time and you RSVP the night before with a “we’re in the mountains and won’t be able to make it” WTF?? Then another one was “we’re having work done on the house and we’re downtown” (barely 20 minutes from my house), also the night before. Then there’s the one who avoids even mentioning he’s coming or not…a vague “I think so”. Then has the nerve to say he’ll be there (with family) and doesn’t show up and doesn’t call or text to say he won’t be there. I honestly don’t mind if they don’t want to come, but please have the decency to let me know ahead of time!Β 

Blood Orange Focaccia

When I receive an invite, I check my calendar, check with my husband to make sure he doesn’t have anything going on and then I RSVP. I don’t wait around for something better to come along and I don’t plan to go to the mountains on that day! In fact, that day then becomes booked. Am I the only one who does this??

Why do I bother? I think from now on, I’ll take a page from my husband’s book and just be antisocial. Do people not realise how much work goes into making one dish let alone 6? Or how time consuming it is to make 12 cupcakes and then 4 other desserts? How are they so tacky to diss an invite at the last possible minute? I am so disappointed in people, not just people but people who I thought were friends! Needless to say, those “friends” just got unfriended on Facebook. Oh well, it makes my life easier to not worry about entertaining and save some money too.

Any thoughts on this matter from you guys? I know we’ve discussed this in a past post, but it really irritated me how these “friends” acted. On a positive note, I got tonnes of European chocolate and flowers πŸ™‚ from the guests who had the decency to RSVP AND turn up!

Anyway, that’s my two cents, I guess I just feel a bit hurt that people don’t value other people’s time and effort (and Karen Harris, you are not included in this rant, I know your reasons πŸ™‚ )

Blood Orange Focaccia

The party, work and an event I worked last week kind of put me behind on my blog schedule. I was scrambling to find something to post. I haven’t had time to cook and photograph for the blog for the past few weeks.

On Saturday, I was at work doing the Thermador demos and I made a blood orange focaccia. It turned out so well that I thought I’d share it with you. Excuse the photos, I only had my iPhone with me that day. Blood oranges are in season right now and even when I do my demos, I try and use seasonal fruit and educate the customers on seasonal fruit and vegetables as well!

Blood Orange Focaccia

Focaccia is great any which way. I often make an olive oil and rosemary one because the customers love bread. The Thermador steam oven does a fantastic job producing a golden crust and a soft and pillowy inside. You don’t need a steam oven to make this (though I really recommend one, they’re fantastic.) A pan of water in the oven when the focaccia is baking should add some humidity to your oven.

This isn’t one of those time consuming focaccia either where you start with biga and let it proof for a 100 hours. It’s pretty quick and easy to assemble and bake. It’s also a great and different way to try out this season’s blood oranges. You can even do a mixed citrus focaccia, not only would that be strikingly beautiful, it will be pretty delicious too.

Blood Orange Focaccia

Blood Orange Focaccia

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 12-16 pieces

A golden brown focaccia topped with seasonal blood oranges.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups/450g all purpose/plain flour
  • 2ΒΌ teaspoon yeast, fast acting, one envelope
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1Β½ cups/355ml warm water
  • 2 medium sized blood oranges, thinly sliced
  • two rosemary sprigs
  • flaked sea salt, optional
  • flavoured raw sugar, optional
Instructions
  1. If you are certain that your yeast is fresh, and not expired, you can mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil all together in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough attachment.
  2. If uncertain about the yeast, proof the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and sugar to make sure it gets all frothy and active.
  3. Mix the flour mixture with the dough hook and slowly add 1 cup of water.
  4. You may not need all the water.
  5. You want a soft dough but not too sticky.
  6. It shouldn't stay in a ball when you place it in a bowl, it should want to spread out.
  7. Use the mixer to knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.
  8. Place in an oiled bowl, covered with a towel and someplace warm.
  9. Near the oven is the warmest spot in my kitchen.
  10. The dough will take a 60-90 minutes to double in size.
  11. Here in Colorado, it really only takes me 45 minutes and the dough is ready to shape (low air pressure at our altitude of 5500 feet)
  12. Sea levellers might have to wait closer to 90.
  13. Once the dough is a nice size and risen, grease a sheet pan, cookie sheet, brownie pan, and lay the dough on the pan, stretching it out to make a rectangular pizza.
  14. Stretch and shape gently.
  15. Place the sliced blood oranges over the top.
  16. Arrange decoratively or just throw them on there.
  17. Scatter some rosemary needles all over the top.
  18. Allow the focaccia to rise for another 20-30 minutes.
  19. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400F/200C
  20. Once the focaccia is risen the second time,
  21. Sprinkle some flavoured sugar or flaked sea salt over the oranges.
  22. The sugar will caramelise and turn the oranges into a candy like rind.
  23. The sea salt adds great favour too.
  24. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven and place the focaccia pan on the rack above.
  25. Bale for 30-40 minutes or until the focaccia is nicely golden brown and the oranges have brown edges and are juicy.
  26. Allow to cool, and the slice into pieces.

Β Blood Orange Focaccia

So, this was delicious straight up. We just ate it as a snack and the clients ate it as they wandered the showroom. The focaccia baking is the best smell in the world in the showroom! Draws the people to the kitchen πŸ™‚

Hope you’ll make use of the citrus that’s available right now, at least in the Northern Hemi. I’m jealous of all the berries the Southerners are enjoying.

Have a great week, and let me know your thoughts!

  1. O
    M
    G
    Nazneen.

    I cannot stand annoying flakes who don’t rsvp beforehand, or those that don’t bother altogether. It’s rude, tacky, and quite honestly, offensive. People need to realize that it takes time to plan a party, whether that be a small one of 4 people, or a large gathering of 400. It takes time to plan a menu, buy said items, prepare said items, etc etc.

    On a lighter note, lol, I would have never thought to add fruit to a traditionally savory food! What a lovely idea!

  2. Girl, we need to get together for a cup of coffee and discuss evite response. I respond with the next few hours. I’ve never gotten it too, why would people do it. It’s one thing to be antisocial but not to respond is beyond me too. It’s plain rude. Oh well.
    To your beautiful focaccia, with you cooking like this, I’ll knock without an invite;). Never tried this combo and can’t wait.
    Take care my friend.

  3. Well, Nazneen, I do not think there is anything left unsaid here…so I will focus on the postive thing(s) – your Blood Orange Focaccia – blood oranges are some of my very favorite fruits and they look absolutely gorgeous when used as a topping for Italian focaccia (which I also happen to like quite a bit) – sorry for not being around for so long….
    I honestly hope that life is treating you well these days.
    Andrea

  4. Unless there’s some religious objection, or the host (or guest of honor) is an alcoholic that has not yet learned to be around liquor without falling of the wagon, I’d say non-drinking hosts should always offer their guest a choice of drink that has alcohol. You don’t need a full bar, but if you keep a bottle of wine around the house to accommodate such friends you will be what a true host should be, gracious. Think of it this way, as a non-drinker, wouldn’t you be put off by a host that did not offer non-alchololic beverages as an option for anyone who preferred not to drink? GREG
    Sippitysup recently posted..Spicy Baked Chicken Wings for Game Day or Any DayMy Profile

  5. Oh Nazneen, I was reading this and saying “ouch” a lot! I hate to say it but I’m not very surprised. I don’t get why so many people are so rude. It’s completely self-centered of them to be so inconsiderate. I say you just focus on surrounding yourself with considerate people, those who lift you up and make you smile instead of aggravated. I know it’s sad because, on the other hand, it’s wonderful for you to be social and reach out but a lot of times, it just isn’t worth it.
    I think your focaccia is totally worth it though! ; ) I’ve never seen a blood orange one. How creative!
    Monica recently posted..Jamie Oliver’s chocolate malt cookiesMy Profile

  6. i know what you mean nazneen..over the years i have gotten so used to people not respecting RSVPs or coming to parties on time. its a running joke among my friends and most use it saying ‘its a cultural thing’.i mean common!!!!! on thanksgiving day, i almost lost my mind because i had to wait for few people to show up because they have no sense of time or how a host plans for months in advance for appetizers/dinner/desserts on a timely manner. hopefully that changes in future but i highly doubt. on a different note, this bread looks unique and delicious.
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health recently posted..Cauliflower, Leek and Cheddar SoupMy Profile

  7. That colour! Don’t remember having a citrus focaccia ever. I am not surprised that the people at the showroom are drawn to this..it’s gorgeous!
    Regarding drinks & food, isn’t that the host’s call? People should be grateful for being considered for an invite. RSVP is so important….there’s a purpose behind that, can’t people get the basic message across their insensitive mind?. I have experienced these earlier when I hosted big parties…now it’s mostly a small group of dear friends. The worst one I recall is for the boy’s first birthday party that we held in a 5-star hotel. Many didn’t turn up…forget, letting us know. It was prearranged so we obviously paid for all those plates of uneaten food.and there was no concept of taking away leftover paid-for food either (like you can do by hiring a caterer) so it was a huge waste of money. Also, yesterday we had a Mum’s lunch at the New school and half the crowd hadn’t RSVPd but turned up. It ended up in slight chaos. People seem to forget their basic manners these days..though they send their kids to be disciplined in the best private schools at a premium…huh?
    Sugar et al. recently posted..Lemon, Coconut and Strawberry CakeMy Profile

  8. your blood orange focaccia is transporting me to the Mediterranean sea and refreshing my memories. What you have experienced with the guests is a good reason to get pissed by some people’s ways, It’s common sense that you need to reconfirm with the host, how are you suppose to know otherwise how to prepare right? That is exactly why I became anti social and we stopped inviting friends to our home. We experienced some really shameless actions in the post which were absolutely not acceptable, so we said we would stop it until we find the right company. πŸ™‚
    about the alcohol… Drink if you want to drink or don’t drink, it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes I drink sometimes I don’t when I have company. People usually don’t notice it that much, but I do have to say that it’s obvious to people in Europe, alcohol is omnipresent there.

  9. I don’t mind cancelled plan if its for a reasonable reason. But for those who just chose to wait last minute to cancel, that’s just pure rude.

    these stunning foccacia would have easily console me though πŸ˜€
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Masala ChaiMy Profile

    • I absolutely agree, you have unplanned emergencies of course, but when you plain wait till the last minute, then I think that’s terrible and just rude. Thanks Kiran.

    • Hi Jen, as much as I would love to say that’s my stove, it’s not. One day, when we actually move into our own home, then I’ll be deciding which one I want to get. I am a Thermador rep/cooking demonstrator, so I get to cook and show off Thermador products.

  10. Your focaccia is gorgeous and colorful I like that. I usually get offended when people do not reply or wait till the last minute to reply but I do not unfriend them :).. It is their way .. some people are just like that and if they have other good sides and they are truly good friends you should accept this bad habit and try to fix it by telling them. We do not drink and when we are invited to a party they know they should not even serve it to others while we are there as you know the rules.
    Amira recently posted..Easy garlic chickenMy Profile

    • First off, maybe I should clarify that these people I deleted off my Facebook were not “friends” but more like acquaintances. I invited them so we could get to know each other better. They have declined my invitations twice now, and both at the very last minute. I have decided that I do not have time for rude people in my life. I also have to disagree, I don’t have to accept anybody’s rude habits, even if they’re my best friend. Rudeness is rudeness and I will eventually tire of their rudeness and that will be the end of the friendship. I am very considerate and loyal friend unless you piss me off, and then I won’t stand for their crap. Grown people have no excuse to be rude and impolite and if that’s their way, then they need to have the consideration to learn some manners.

  11. Okay, soooo many things to say in this one… but let’s start with the best and most obvious! The focaccia is gorgeous! (Funny how we are both on the focaccia page these days…) Second, going to a home where no alcohol is served is something that happens often for us, and we don’t mind at all. Good for our livers to have a little vacation! πŸ™‚ Third, I am totally with you on the RSVP front. Do it immediately – or at least let the hosts know that you aren’t sure but will let them know ASAP. It isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. It is common sense and common courtesy.

    Funny that you say they don’t read. The one I mentioned in my post on wine bringers doesn’t read my blog either – so, at dinner, I told him all about it! πŸ™‚

    xox, David
    David recently posted..Cheese CubedMy Profile

  12. I have no idea what is wrong with people and the RSVP thing. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. And I used to blame it on “Colorado”. Growing up in Kansas, one always did the polite thing; once you receive an invitation, check your calendar and reply yay or nay. Plus this bad habit has no age boundaries. Young, old, you have inconsiderate people who feel their time is more important than yours. Now you’ve got me riled up! πŸ™‚ Your focaccia is beautiful by the way.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..Crock Pot Chicken Sliders with BBQ and Italian SauceMy Profile

  13. Wow I’ve never seen a fruity focaccia before – it is stunning. Do people come to the show room just because they know there’s free food?!
    We had a dinner party just after New Year too – everyone left around 3am and judging by the number of bottles I threw out the next day I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all. And you know what? Not one single thank you the next day and I thought of you and that post. Now I just shrug and it’s ‘whatever’. You invite people because you enjoy having people over not for the applause after the meal I guess?
    I wouldn’t have a problem with my host not drinking and there being no alcohol – especially at your home. It’s about the company and friendship not the alcohol surely? It’s just rude not to RSVP one way or another.
    Nancy | Plus Ate Six recently posted..Ita Buttrose, Australia Day & Shanghai {all in the same room, at the same time}My Profile

    • A thank you? I dare not expect one of those!! That’s just one thing I know I’m not going to get the next day. Many are appreciative when they leave and always thank, but the days of actually receiving a note or email is long gone. In fact, it’s usually me who emails and thanks them for coming!! I think he same way, I think it’s for the company and sharing a meal together, but at my party, I had a couple (the wife is a drinker) and they were getting a soft drink, and I always put out a variety of fruit juices, sparkling juices, sodas, and the like, and I guess she thought it was funny…I felt they were having a snigger. But maybe I’m too sensitive. That’s when I thought maybe it makes a difference having no alcohol.

  14. Some people are ridiculously awful with RSVP-ing you almost don’t want to invite them anymore and yes, be antisocial! I think unless you are ill (in which case, you can’t plan for that) you should always be organised enough to RSVP on time as opposed to confirming on the day!
    On a nicer, less rant note haha your focaccia is making my mouth water – what an innovative idea, I want to try it you always inspire me πŸ˜€

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Topsy Turvy Australia DayMy Profile

  15. What a gorgeous focaccia. The blood oranges make it so pretty. I always RSVP to an invitation and ask, ‘What can I bring’ etc. And if they say, ‘You don’t need to bring anything’, that doesn’t mean I don’t bring anything. My mother always said, ‘When you go to someone’s home you’ll knock with your elbows because your hands will be full’. We have friends who drink and friends who don’t drink and no one seems to mind who’s doing what. But if I’m invited into a home that’s strictly no alcohol, I usually won’t bring any wine unless they say, ‘And feel free to bring some wine’. Let’s face it – if they don’t drink their not likely to have a wine glass! xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Oyster Island, Santo, VanuatuMy Profile

    • That’s the thing, Charlie, some people are great! They bring so much stuff and are so kid and grateful. Then there are quite a few who are just rude and thoughtless. I mean, really? I always take something, if not a food item a set of nice lotions and creams for the hostess. It’s just polite! When did we lose all our manners?

    • Oh, and that bit about the wine glass made me giggle. When I was first married, my mother threw a little party for some of her feeding to come and meet the bride and groom. One of her friends (all were Muslims so non drinkers) gives us a set of wine glasses as a gift. That always puzzled me πŸ™‚ Maybe he thought since I was marrying a white guy, I’d take up drinking!! So silly, but, I do have wine glasses if you happen to pop over sometime πŸ˜‰

  16. Your focaccia looks amazing! This recipe is so original. I’m trying to imagine the taste right now. I adore blood oranges. Plus, I have a Thermador oven! πŸ™‚
    I have learned that people are not polite and have no idea how to socially behave a long time ago. Of course, mine is a generalization and every rule has exceptions. I’m really happy when I happen to meet an exception. Such a rare gem though! πŸ™‚
    My rule is basic and simple: if someone is rude to me and/or my family, I simply start keeping my distance only to end up cutting him or her out of our life.
    I know it can look a bit harsh but life is too complicated and time too precious to waste them with people who haven’t the decency to show you any respect.

    • Hi Francesca! Unfortunately, you are right, there is very little politeness left in the world. I think its just easier for people to be rude, but I like your thinking, and it’s exactly what I do. I only tolerate so much and then its bye. Thank you for stopping by!!

  17. I usually reply in time. If I have any doubt, I let the person know ahead and why. Since I have already hosted several events, I know very well how important is for the host have both the count and time to provide all that is necessary in time. But I have to say the type of behavior that you described above, it is more common than you think in this country. I had guests that never replied and either did not show up or showed up at last minute. Crazy!
    Well, your blood orange focaccia not only look beautiful but also sounds delicious!!!
    Denise Browning@From Brazil To You recently posted..Açaí Smoothie and How to Make the Perfect SmoothieMy Profile

    • Hi Denise! Unfortunately, I know what you mean, I know it’s very common, but why though? Have we lost all decency, respect and consideration for others? It’s really very sad. Anyway, hope you get chance to try some blood oranges! They seem to very good this year πŸ™‚

  18. I completely understand your rant. I don’t know why but it seems these days people just prefer to stay home and WATCH TV! I think television started the demise of socializing. People can just be comfy sitting in their warm houses and zoning out. I would always RSVP to a kind invitation.
    One of my peeves is people who are never the least bit spontaneous! They just find it too difficult to change gears and so are stuck at home. I am talking about the times when you are making a big pot of something delicious and it just occurs to you to share it with neighbors. That kind of invitation can be turned down immediately and one should understand but one still feels rejected! I know in times past this kind of spontaneous invitation was usually joyfully accepted. What is wrong with us? We should make more time for friends and fun and forget the house cleaning. Have you even heard this? “A clean well-organized home is a sign of a wasted life.”
    Your foccacia does look wonderful!

    • Hi Caterina, thank you! I agree 100% with what you’re saying. I really do believe they are indifferent and lazy. They don’t want to put in any effort because they rather stay at home and do nothing. Honestly, that’s my husband, and it makes me so mad. I make him do these things on purpose and I accept invitations to get him out. He’d be more than happy to sit in front of the TV, with his computer on his lap or his iPad reading a book while watching TV! Thats apparently all the interaction he needs! So, yes, I do those parties for a reason and I accept invitations for a reason! Oh, and if you were my neighbour, you wouldn’t have to ask me twice to come over and share your pot of food!!

  19. Wow Nazneen – this focaccia is stunning! I don’t think I’ve ever had a blood orange on focaccia with rosemary – such a brilliant appetizer!
    And no, it isn’t just you – I would reply asap and consider that day/evening “booked” too! Once I had someone cancel the day of a luncheon – I am starting to think your hubs is right and being anti-social is the best option πŸ˜‰ As far as alcohol – I don’t drink either and it hasn’t been a problem or an issue – at least, noone has said anything about a lack of it.

  20. If somebody extends an invitation and requests a RSVP, you RSVP. Doesn’t have to be immediately upon receiving the invite, but should be timely, and well before the event. Re booze, no problem. Mrs K R and I do drink, but we have friends who don’t. If someone doesn’t want to serve alcohol, we have no problem with that. If we invite friends who don’t drink for dinner, we always provide a choice of things, including nonalcoholic sparkling apple cider (which looks great in a Champagne flute). Anyway, I love your focaccia! Never had one with blood oranges before — looks so pretty, and I’ll bet the flavor is wonderful.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef BrisketMy Profile

    • Thank you, John. I only ask for RSVPs for very big parties or very small ones, but since I make so many dishes, I like to have a number to aim for. This nonsense of not letting someone know is just plain rude. Thanks for your input. I’m happy to hear you’d come to my party when invited πŸ™‚

  21. I find it rude. I’m that friend who’s the ‘nagger’, always. I like knowing what I’m doing so I want other people to tell me what they’re doing to so I can make plans. It’s awful putting time and effort into arranging things to have people change. And the trouble is with me (and I hope it’s just my age) nobody around me likes planning, they always go ‘whatever, we’ll see’, so they don’t understand the effort. Anyway, this bread looks delicious. I bought some blood oranges the other day for a second time this winter, last time, I cut into them, and was so disappointed as they weren’t red, This time I’m crossing my fingers!
    Miss Messy recently posted..Thai Curry Lentil SoupMy Profile

    • I know how you feel, Holly! I’m also the planner and the one who needs everything in it place. But just a RSVP to let me know, that’s all, how difficult is that? Sigh. The oranges were gorgeous! I’m always a bit anxious cutting into one but I was jumping for joy when I saw these πŸ™‚

  22. oh wow! This is an amazing focaccia! I’ve never tried one with oranges! Looks amazing! I love the colors of orange slices! Amazing!

    I wish you a wonderful day πŸ™‚

    take care!