Sue's focaccia

my good friend, sue, and i have been collaborating on a project. she brings many gifts to the table but the one i’m most grateful for is her enthusiasm for baking. if you are a regular reader of le sauce, you know that i’m…not that comfortable with baking. but working alongside sue has me thinking crazy things, like i could make a red velvet cake on my own and have it actually turn out. we made one together. she talked me through the parts where we had to be efficient and not over-whisk, and she talked calmly about adding two whole packages of cream cheese to the butter in the icing. those things make the eyes of a non-baker like me almost leave their head.

on a recent evening, at the tail end of a long day of recipe-testing, sue had the gumption to tackle homemade focaccia, which she knew would need to rise twice. i tried to talk her down from the ledge, but she jumped. it was delicious. like, really amazing. the crumble was perfect, the flavour from the rosemary and maldon salt were just subtle enough, and i am so happy she went for it. between this, the cake, making my own pizza dough and getting my hands dirty making pasta from scratch (three times in the last month!), i realized, i am ready. flour, you don’t scare me anymore. ok you do, but not enough to hold me back. the results from baking from scratch are just too good. and in the tense moments, and i know there will be critical moments, i will bite into a piece of that focaccia, saved in the freezer and reheated to perfection again, and learn how to bake.