Friday, October 2, 2015

District 6: Lemon, Rosemary, & Thyme Focaccia.

(Want to start with District 1?)

Suzanne Collins only describes five of the twelve iconic district breads, and District 6 is another that she leaves to our imagination.  District 6's primary industry is transportation--trains and hovercrafts.  They're also known for widespread Morphling addiction, as exhibited by the district's victors in the Quarter Quell.  So...not much to go off of to hypothesize what their bread might be I went with this flavorful focaccia.

District 6: Lemon, Rosemary, & Thyme Focaccia.

I made some minor changes (in quantity and method) to this recipe.

You'll need:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp (for dough) + 1 1/2 Tbsp (for drizzle) olive oil, plus a little extra as needed
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (for dough) + 1/2 tsp (for drizzle) fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp (for dough) + 1 tsp (for drizzle) fresh thyme, chopped
  • lemon zest, from one small lemon
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt, to taste

If you're a geeky mom like me, you may also need some helpers:

My helpers, Kaylie & Wil.

Though keeping them from spilling the ingredients and falling off their chair-stools can be a bit of a distraction.  Plus, they're not really all that helpful....

But they're great at "re-ordering" your spices and rearranging fridge magnets (on top of said spices...).

Anyway.  Back to the bread.

Combine the milk and brown sugar and heat to 110-115*F:

The original recipe includes microwave instructions for this step, but I wasn't sure citizens of District 6 would have microwaves, so I went for the more authentic method of heating it on the stovetop.  But if you want to save yourself a few minutes, no Peacekeepers will come after you for cheating with a microwave.

Add the yeast:

Stir to dissolve.  Let sit about five minutes, until it's bubbly; add the tablespoon of olive oil.

While the yeast activates, prepare your herbs and lemon zest.  I use a cheese grater for the zest:

Confession: when it comes to fresh herbs, I approximate because I'm lazy.  Also, I have crappy non-sharp knives, so I don't really "chop" things that are already this small...

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, the rosemary and thyme for the dough, and half the lemon zest:

Mix; then add the yeast/milk mixture and mix until it forms a soft dough; mix (or knead, if you're working by hand) an additional five minutes.

So, I didn't cheat with a microwave, but I totally cheat with my stand mixer, because I haaaaaaate kneading dough by hand.  I always manage to screw it up somehow.  But I love my while I aim to stick with reasonable recipes for these district breads, which can be made by methods likely available to those in each respective district, I'm going to keep using my mixer.  Don't send Peacekeepers.

Once the dough is thoroughly mixed/kneaded, shift it to the side of the bowl and pour a little bit of olive oil into the bottom of the bowl:

Turn the dough until it's lightly greased on every side:

Is it just me, or does this look a bit like a HP mandrake or the Oogie Boogie curled up in my bowl?

Cover; let rise about an hour, until the dough doubles in size:

Once it's doubled in size (I forgot to take a picture), punch the dough down:

Coat the bottom of a small baking dish (I used an 8" x 8") with about a tablespoon of olive oil:

Spread the dough to completely cover the bottom of the dish:

Cover again, and let rise until it doubles in size again (anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes):

While you wait, start preparing your drizzle.  Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme, the other half of the lemon zest, and the red pepper flakes:

Again, you can refer to the original recipe for microwave instructions, or you can heat the mixture on the stovetop until it just begins to sizzle:

Then set it aside:

Preheat your oven to 425*F.

Then, poke the dough!

This part's fun.  Use your finger to make indentations roughly an inch deep, about half an inch apart:

Then, use your fingers to smear the drizzle evenly:

Sprinkle it with sea salt to taste, and let it sit another 15 minutes.  Then bake it about 15-25 minutes, until it's golden brown:

Once it's properly golden brown, let it cool for about ten minutes:

You can transfer it to a wire rack until it's ready to serve:

And because I was busy setting up my model train, hovercraft, and Morphling syringe photo props, I totally forgot to take any close-ups of the sliced bread....

...but if you want to see pretty pictures of the finished product, check out the gorgeous photos from the original recipe post.

And for your cut-and-paste convenience:

Lemon, Rosemary, & Thyme Focaccia
  • Dough:
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra as needed
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
    • lemon zest, from half of one small lemon
  • Drizzle:
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
    • lemon zest, from half of one small lemon
    • pinch of red pepper flakes
    • sea salt, to taste
  1. In small saucepan (or microwaveable bowl), combine milk and brown sugar; heat to 110-115*F.  Add yeast; stir to dissolve; let sit five minutes until bubbly.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, salt, and rosemary, thyme, and lemon zest for dough.  Mix by hand or by stand mixer (dough hook).  Add yeast/milk mixture; mix until soft dough forms.  Mix an additional five minutes.
  3. Shift dough to side of bowl; pour a little olive oil into bottom of bowl; turn dough to lightly grease on all sides.  Cover; let rise one hour (until it doubles in size).
  4. Punch risen dough down.  Coat bottom of 8" x 8" baking dish in olive oil.  Spread dough evenly to cover bottom of baking dish.  Cover; let rise until it doubles in size (20-60 minutes).
  5. Combine drizzle ingredients, minus sea salt.  Heat (on stovetop or in microwave), and set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  7. Use fingers to make indentations, about 1" deep and 1/2" apart, all over surface of dough.  Spread drizzle evenly over dough, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Let sit 15 minutes.
  8. Bake 15-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack until ready to serve.
Easter Eggs

As usual, I've hidden a couple references to other fandoms in this week's main photo.  Can you spot them?

There are two this week.  Let me know in the comments if you catch them!

Ready for the reveal from last time?  (Sorry to keep you hanging for so long--it's been a while since I posted District 5!!)  Here it is!

ONE-POINT-TWENTY-ONE GIGAWATTS?!?  If you don't hear that in Doc Brown's voice, you really need to take a break from the internet and catch up on Back to the Future (especially with October 21, 2015--the day Doc and Marty travel to in the future--only a few weeks away!).  Great scott!

Let me know in the comments if you catch this week's Easter eggs, or if you try you hand at this District 6 focaccia!  As always, may the odds be ever in your favor! :-)

(Ready for District 7?)


  1. I'll look for an alternative to sugar, and then try this out :D :D ('coz I went the sugar-free life) Please, keep up with the recipes :D

    1. I'm trying! I fell quite a bit behind with crazy Dragon Con prep, so I'm going to have to make and write up at least one a week between now and the final movie!! Have the ingredients on hand for District 7, but I won't have time to make it until looks like it'll be super yummy, though! :-)

  2. Hey Sara, the little gold thing is Serenity from Firefly and Serenity the movie. Not sure what the other 'egg' is. Keep up the great work!

    1. You got it! Casey got me that Serenity ornament last Christmas--it's the closest thing I have to a hovercraft! :-P