So, driving along the back roads of Vermont, what could be better than to be hit by a late-season ice/wet snow storm, which slowed us down so much that by the time we got to Burlington the stores were closed, they had rolled up the sidewalks for the evening, we could hardly see the lake, and so forth. Yup, no one can show the ladies a good time like yours truly. Naturally, by now we're kinda starving, but the restos along Church St. only offered the fine American dining specialty of deep-fried, well, everything, really.However, as our frustration was hitting 11, we noticed Smokejacks. It looked cute, the menu looked great (woohoo, locally grown meats, veggies, wine and cheeses) and the cocktail list looked even better. In we go. As we looked over the menu, our stomachs borborygmic (hee), the waitress dropped a basket of bread on our table. I grab a square of what looked like corn bread, took a bite, and pretty much wet my pants. The milliner and I looked at each other, and pretty much said "oh fuck" at the same time. This was amazing. Soft bread, brimming with olive oil and rosemary and salty goodness. I was in heaven. I had never had foccacia this good before. We've been back to Smokejacks several times since, sometimes when driving back from climbing, sometimes just driving down there just for another of their meals. I will sometimes call ahead and ask for foccacia to be set aside so that I can bring some home. After several attempts to replicate their recipe, I think I've come as close as possible to the ethereal thing. So here we go:
Back in the spring of 2003, when the milliner and I first started seeing each other, I suggested a day trip to Burlington, VT. The day we meant to go turned out to be the typical sunny spring day that makes you glad to be alive. The milliner, however, was sick as a dog, so we postponed the trip. A couple weeks later, we figured, hey, today seems like a good day. So off we drove. Relying on my keen sense of direction and memory, we completely overshot the exit, by about 100 km, and ended up crossing the border down by New Hampshire way, which of course elicited scorn from the border guard, who nevertheless handed us a map so we could find our way to Burlington.
FoccaciaThis is adapted from Dough, a book I highly, highly recommend, as would my personal tester, who occasionally leaves some crumbs for me.
- 18 oz bread flour
- 2 oz olive oil
- 15 grams (1/2 oz) fresh yeast
- 10 grams salt (I use gray)
- 11.5 oz lukewarm water
- more olive oil, some kosher salt, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary for the topping