Saturday, November 28, 2009

More on the Redox Potential of Wine

I continue to be interested in the change in wine as it is exposed to the air.

One way to measure that is with the redox potential, which is measured like pH, but with a platinum electrode instead of a glass electrode.

Anyway, I got an article by Tomlinson and Kilmartin from New Zealand, (J Appl Electrochem 29:1:9 (1997) 1125-1137), and they explain how there are a multitude of redox couples active in a bottle of wine.

The electrochemical potential is a thermodynamic property, but in wine there are multiple equilibria, and we typically don't want the wine to degrade before we measure it at equilibrium. People often want to test it in as it is stored in the bottle, and after several months or years - it must be fairly stable. My interest is in the rapid change in tannin, fruit and other flavors as the wine breathes. It strikes me that there must be a lot of chemistry happening all at once.

Tomlinson & Kilmartin also point out the pH generally correlates with reduction potential -- perhaps because H+ ion is involved in a lot of the reactions. This is good for me since I am unlikely to buy a platinum electrode for my wine shop.

Zoecklein from Virginia Tech prepared the chart above showing different kinds of equilibria in wine. Most notable is the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde or ethanal. Bad because acetaldehyde is poisonous, and because there is 13% alcohol for the reaction to work with. I am also interested in trying to control the redox potential with ascorbate rather than sulfite to avoid the flavor problem.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The 2009 Zinfandel

One of the big disappointments from the 2009 Merlot is that there is only 28 liters of it or about 8 gallons. I really wanted twelve gallons.  As I was making the Riesling, I had the problem of being about 1 gallon of juice short to fill the demijohn. I could have put commercial wine in, but I wanted it to be more homemade.
I devised the idea of buying a case of Riesling grapes, topping off the Riesling demijohn, and then mixing the rest with a new batch of red.  What a great idea!

I went to California Wine Grapes in Detroit, in the Corktown neighborhood, and they were out of Riesling. The only grape they had was Muscato, which does not have a great reputation because people typically make a sweet wino grade wine, but it is often used to blend. I am glad I got it, since it had a wonderful flavor, and the grapes were good quality.

I also bought two cases of Zinfandel from Lodi California, and one case of Old Vine Zinfandel from NAPA VALLEY no less. Actually the Napa Valley grapes were on sale because I got them on Sunday -- having decided I was still short on juice. I don't think they are much superior to the ones from Lodi.

2009 Zinfandel Wine Recipe

108 lb Zinfandel grapes (one case from Napa)
24 lb of Muscato grapes
1.5 t (5 grams) bisulfite
5 g pectic enzyme

Allow to stand until warm or overnight

Red Star Montrachet Yeast

<<Update post>>

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2009 Riesling Wine

On Saturday (10-Oct) I purchased two cases of Riesling grapes. I crushed them, squeezed them, and got about 5.5 gallons. I took the pressed grapes and heated them with about three quarts of hot water, and got about 6 1/4 gallons altogether. The grape juice was sweet even after dilution at 1.11 g/ml. I did not need to add sugar.

Riesling Recipe

6 gallons of fresh squeezed Reisling grape juice from 72 pounds of grapes*
3/4 t potassium sulfite
1/2 t pectic enzyme
9 grams (3 t) yeast energizer

*I actually crushed the grapes and added the sulfite, and then pressed the grapes in the morning. No doubt this is going to give me a darker color and more tannin flavor. On the other hand, there was no other way. I understand that California style Riesling is always pressed immediately, while European vintners vary.  Notice that the Riesling grapes are not really green grapes but have some color on the skin. The juice, pictured below, is a little red. It will be interesting to see how dark it is when the pulp has settled.

I used my new fruit press. I thought I was only going to get four gallons, but with patience coxed another 1.5 gallons out.

i put this in a ten gallon plastic primary fermenter and covered it with plastic. The wine has been fermenting for 21/2 days now, and is still sweet, but distinctly alcoholic --especially the fragrance.

This juice was from DePalma in Ripon California. I have old DePalma grape creates from when my father made wine in the 1970's and the labels are almost identical.  Having said that the grapes were pretty dirty and had a lot of leaves. I took to rinsing them with water, and the first rinse water was pretty dark.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Alcohol Content of Wine

I am working on a new Riesling wine made from California grapes, and it is time to balance the sugar level and pick the alcohol content.

Most people would have no way of knowing, but my blog page that gets the most traffic is this table on alcohol content of wines that I put in months ago.

Here is a link to another one from  I don't like it because it is far too vague.  The lesson is that regular white wines like Chardonnay and Riesling are at 10% for medium and 11.5% alcohol by volume for dry. Medium red wines start at 11% and go to 12%.  Dry reds are 12-14%.  Hardy deep reds can be as high as 17%. The author says that Shiraz and Syrah which are the same grape, have different alcohol content when made in the Australlian style (Shiraz) than in the French/California style (Syrah) -- not sure how believable that is.

Analytical work on wines show that the alcohol content on the label is almost always over reported. It would be smart to subtract 1% from all of them.

There are many ways to measure alcohol content, and about the simplest is distillation. Industrially, GC and a this Anton Paar flow-through densitometer are used. Jean Jacobson wrote  an in-depth segment in a monograph on Amazon. Another good link on alcohol measurement.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thin Crust Pizza

I have come across a good thin crust pizza site that I want to recommend, and come back to. It is written by Steve Zinski.

This is a thin crust dough recipe, which is not the same as above:

3/4 c water
1 3/4 c bread flour - ideally high gluten flour
1/2 t salt

1/4 t sugar
1 T yeast

Squeezing the Merlot

I picked up a little wine press on Wednesday, it is a Weston Fruit and Wine Press Model 05-0101. It is a small press with the screw running through the center of the basket -- like many of the new ones.

I pressed the 2009 Merlot wine after six days with my new wine press.

I had run a malolactic fermentation for two days I used Bacchus by Lalvin for the starter. I am still unsure of the usefulness of the malolactic. I like how Wikipedia says that it imparts "roundness" to the flavor. I think it is defensive by using Oenococcus oeni,  one protects against less flavorful bacteria.   

The press worked well, although the free run juice accounted for the vast majority of the wine. For red wine, I am not sure how much I needed the press.

I bottled up the wine in a demijohn, but I only got 7.5 gallons for 109 pounds of grapes. I had been hoping for ten gallons. I think this is going to mean a follow up batch of something, or I may do a larger batch of white wine this year -- perhaps a white zinfandel or a blend.

The fermentation ran fast; density was 1.0 by four days. Now that it is in the demijohn, I am not seeing as much bubbling on the gas trap as I'd like. I am trying not to worry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The 2009 Merlot

The big news this weekend is the 2009 Merlot, which is not really a Merlot, but a blend of two cases of merlot grapes with one case of syrah grapes. I got the grapes at California Wine Grapes in Detroit proper -- one of my favorite stores.

This was a big advance for me in that it involved grapes and not grape juice as last year. My little grape crusher ground through the three cases pretty well, but the sorting out of the grape stems took a while. I have a little grape press on order. Hope it is here by next weekend. [My DW has a request in for hard cider.]

The  grape juice was sweet at 1.105 by density -- perfect. The juice did not taste satisfying though. The White Grenache juice for last year was like liquid heaven -- so great to drink. The Merlot will no doubt be better after fermentation since it is not so great today.

The recipe for the wine is:

72 lb California Merlot grapes
36 lb California Syrah grapes
1.25 t potassium bisulfite
10 gram of pectic enzyme

Allow to sit overnight

1 packet of Montrachet from Red Star

The plan is to ferment until Friday, then:

Malto-lactic bacteria

Press the grapes on Saturday, and move to the secondary fermentors, which are glass demijohns.

More: Grape crates have these kitschy labels that the growers must like. I save these crates and organize my basement junk with them. Here is the label from this year's Merlot.

December 30, 2010 Update

I tasted this wine, and it was too acidic in flavor. I tried to measure the pH, and my (cheap little) pH meter did not read correctly. I added 1 gram of potassium carbonate per 750 ml bottle, and allowed the wine to age. 

This showed a bubbly reaction as the salt dissolved, and the carbonate bubbled into the air as carbon dioxide. The potassium ion is supposed to precipitate with tarterate ion and settle to the bottom. The wine is less tart than it was.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Non-Fermenting Sugars

I am toying with making a Hard Cider or sweeting some part of my 2009 Cherry wine. While I think that Spenda, sucralose, is an interesting idea, it is shockingly non-traditional, and I don't really like the idea of adding chlorinated chemicals to my wine.  [Of course I add it to my coffee, but -- well never mind.]

Spenda would work because it sweetens, but yeast can't digest it, so the  wine will be sweet to the taste rather than extra hearty.

The common solution is lactose, milk sugar, which is at right. It is notable because about 35% of the world's adults can't metabolize it, but then yeast can't either. It also isn't that sweet. Lactose is at right.

Another choice is malto-dextran, which is the main ingredient in corn syrup. It has not been degraded enough to ferment.

An excellent resource is this site from Aussie Home Brewing in Brisbane.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 Blueberry Wine and Wine Update

It's been three weeks since I started the blueberry wine, and I racked it for the first time today. I also removed it from its oversized demijohn and put in a three gallon carboy, where it will be for a while.

The flavor has changed a great deal in the last three weeks. The last remaining sweetness is gone. The wine is very fruity, very dark in color, strong tannin flavor, light in alcohol, very yeasty, and a little too sour. The color has changed and it is less red. It was more red than my cherry wine for a while.

I checked the pH and it was 3.2 by pH paper, which is about normal. I bought a little handheld pH meter and a set of standards, but I have set it up yet. I decided that regardless of what it was, it was too early to adjust it. I will wait for a few months before doing anything.

Update on other wines:

It's been five weeks on the 2009 cherry wine -- so far so good.

It's nearing 10 months on the 2008 Merlot. I am going to have to transfer it out of its demijohn soon to make room for this year's grape wine. I am hoping to get petite Syrah grapes. If I do a white, it will be a Riesling.

I have been drinking my 10 month old 2008 White Grenache. After much work, I have gotten it to clarify with a bentonite addition. I like it better now that it is clear. I like it; it is a fruity simple wine -- not so complex.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Racking the 2009 Cherry and Blueberry

2009 Cherry Racking

It has been two weeks since I made the Cherry wine, and the sugar content is low. I can tell by the absence of sweetness -- I did not bother to measure it. I racked the wine a second time and took out about a gallon of lees.

I am worried about it. The sweetened cherry juice was delicious, but it tasted a bit like cherry cough syrup. Now that the sugar has fermented, there still is a distinct cherry cough syrup flavor. The wine seems to be on the strong side since I overshot the sugar at 1.12 rather than 1.08-1.09 like I wanted. I will worry about what to do with that later after the flavor matures. I probably will blend it with a white grape wine.

The cherry wine is very dark - as dark as my 2008 Merlot, and only slightly redder.

2009 Blueberry Wine -- First Racking

I measured the density (specific gravity) of the primary fermenter and got 1.022. This is pretty good, but I would have liked it to be lower after six days. I am concerned about spoilage so I transfered it to an oversized demijohn.

The flavor is pretty good right now, very fruity, but it is also sweet since the fermentation is not done. Hopefully it will keep going in the secondary fermenter.

At right is the partially fermented juice in the primary fermenter prior to racking. The color is redder than my cherry wine.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 Blueberry Wine and Recipe

I was at the store and the blueberries were $1.79/lb, which is a great price for grocery blueberries -- about what I paid for the cherries. So I decided it would be fun to try some blueberry wine -- why not?

I passed the blueberries though a manual "food mill" -- really a slotted funnel that the berries were pressed though with a funnel. I added both the juice and the skins. These berries were pretty clean, so there were very few stems or leaves.

Blueberry Wine Recipe
12 pounds of blueberries, crushed
2.5 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and made into apple sauce
7 pounds of sugar
2.5 gallons of boiling water
3/4 teaspoon metabisulfite
1.5 teaspoons yeast energizer
1.5 teaspoons pectin enzyme
Levlin 71B 1122 yeast

I actually used 3/4 t yeast energizer and 1.5 t yeast nutrient so I could use up my yeast nutrient.

Friday, July 24, 2009

2009 Cherry Wine: in the secondary fermenter

The cherry wine fermentation took off after the first day, and the sugar disappeared. I let it go five days and filtered it through a nylon bag filter that I got at the wine store. I put it in an oversized demijohn, because I don't have one that fits.

I intend to wait a few more days and then put it in my three gallon carboy, and a gallon jug.

The top picture is the bright red cherry juice. The bottom picture is the five day old cherry wine. The change in color is real.

See the wine recipe posting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bentonite Clarifies the White Grenache

I am thrilled to report that 4 grams per gallon of Bentonite clay has clarified my White Granache wine. See the post below for the cloudy wine pictures.

Bentonite is a smectite clay with negative and positive layers. This means that it can grab a wide variety of proteins and drag them to the bottom of the bottle.

I dumped up all of my bottled White Granache, and put them in gallons.

I took the four grams of clay and added water drop-wise with stirring in a small cup-- like making a white sauce, and then I poured the mixture into the bottle. This helped the clay floated slowly through the wine rather than floating on top or sinking immediately. The slow stirring is important.

Now after six days the wine is all clear. This is a much better result than simply sprinkling the bentonite in the straight from the bottle. It also worked better than the Isinglass or the amylase, which did not work at all.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

2009 Cherry Wine

We had a few good bottles of Michigan Cherry wine over the winter from Traverse Bay Winery, I decided to make a batch of my own.

I bought 23 pounds of Michigan Bing Cherries, and spent two hours cleaning them.

Cherry Wine Recipe

23 lbs Michigan Bing Cherries; stemmed, cut, crushed
3.5 gallon boiling water
6 bags of Lipton (regular black) tea
9 lbs of sugar
3/4 teaspoon metabisulfite
2 teaspoons yeast energizer
2 teaspoons pectin enzyme
Levlin 71B 1122 yeast

The tricky part is getting the cherry's crushed without breaking the pits. I tried for 30 minutes to get the pits out manually before giving up. In the end I sliced each cherry, usually twice on either side of the pit. I put the cherries into my "food mill" which is really a manual fruit press for making apple sauce. I mashed the cherries some, and extracted a bit of juice. Unlike grapes, cherries are not that juicy.

I collected a dozen recipes from the internet, and the amount of cherries per gallon varies from 2 lb-6 lb per gallon. I decided on 5.5 lb/gal. The sugar amount varies from 2 lb to 10 lb (on a four gallon batch). I started with 2 pounds, and kept adding sugar until I got to 9.

I boiled the water, and poured it over the cherries. Adjusted the sugar, added the chemicals, and allowed the cherries to cool overnight. In the morning I added the sugar, and put it in the primary fermentor.

Read more about the cherry wine.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My White Grenache is Hazy

The top picture is the 2008 White Grenache after bottling it, and about 6 weeks of storage. The bottles all have a a white sediment. If I decant off the sediment, then the bottle develops more haziness, which gradually settles.

The lower picture is the wine as it came out of the demijohn - and it was nice and clear. It also had a phenolic taste that disappeared after bottling.

Anyway, I think there has been some oxidation or acidification that has altered the flavor and knocked something out of solution.

The wine books have several more or less practical ways to clarify wine, like gelatin or egg white. 

I am tempted to dump up the bottles into a container, add sulfite, and let it settle by itself. After some length of time, I would filter it. 

My problem is that I don't have a five gallon container that is suitable, and the wine may spontaneously start precipitating something. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wine Flavors Introduced by Oak Aging

I am thinking about whether to treat my 2008 Merlot with oak chips, and I was interested to see this article on what chemicals are found in oak chips. To my surprise most of them have some sort of desirable flavor, with the notable exception of the trichloroanisole. I am surprised that there are trichloro compounds in wood at all. This one does not seem to have severe safety issues, but I understand it has the Champagne producers concerned about adulteration via wine corks.

Fernández de Simón and others have published the work of GC/MS work on several species of wood that are commonly used to store food and impart flavor to them. They made a lengthy list in J Agric. Food Chem 57:8 (2009). I have extracted out the most important components from American Oak that has been "toasted." There are several other wood species in the work. 

People should not be surprised to learn that wine scholars have been researching these extractives for years, and there is a lot published on them. 

The graph at right shows the relative proportions of the top ten extractives. There are many more. 

2,4,6-trichloroanisole (100 ppm)- This is the compound responsible for cork taint, and it ruins the flavor of wine even at nanogram/L levels. Smells like moldy newspaper

syringaldehyde(226 ppm), coniferaldehyde (96 ppm), sinapaldehyde (239 ppm) - vanilla related aldehydes

butyrovanillione (113 ppm) = zingerone = vanillyl acetone - also found in ginger; medicinal uses

Whiskey lactone (beta-methyl-gamma-octalactone) (32 ppm)- One of the main components of aroma in whiskey

Furfural (395 ppm) - almond-like, sometime describes as burnt; increases with the "toasting" of the oak wood

5-methyl furfural (34 ppm)- spicy, carmel-like, sweet

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Racking the 2008 Merlot

I racked the Merlot today, and I was pleased at how much it had matured. There was only a small amount of sediment, which I washed out.

Based on my brother, Glenn's advice I am going to wait until fall to bottle this. In the fall, I will need the bottle.

The Merlot now tastes like Merlot with fruitiness, but also with a stringency and hardiness. It is not as fruity as Shiraz. It is not a very complex flavor though, still relatively simple. It is nice, and quite drinkable especially with food.

Of course, I don't believe that good wine should be drunk with food, since the food wrecks the flavor of the wine. Good wine should be enjoyed alone.

As mentioned below, the fermentation carboy is a reducing environment, and by racking it we let is oxidize a bit. Unlike the 2008 White Grenache, there is no bitterness.

I have not added any oak chips, which I contend are unwelcome to my palate. I did put a three tea bags in during the winter to get the tannins up. I think tea tannins are nicer than oak tannins.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Reducing Environment of the Wine Bottle

I bottled out the 2008 Grenache, and have tasted a significant evolution in the flavor. Since I aged the wine in glass, and bottled it in glass, the wine has almost always been in a reductive environment. Reduction here being used in the chemical sense, meaning that chemicals are stable in the wine that would not be stable in the oxidizing environment of the atmosphere. It also means that chemicals tend have a lower oxidation state -- that is have more electrons. 

I had been thinking that bitter alkaloids were being oxidized upon contact with air. 

A good reference on this is, where I learned a lot. Riojalta says that the reducing flavor is desireable; but I am not so sure. Also I think that the process of racking and bottling improves flavor, by allowing the wine a chance to oxidize a little. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

White Grenache Bottling

I bottled off the white grenache wine today.

I purchased new corks and washed the bottles in the dishwasher first.

The wine is light and the bitter aftertaste that it had in the last rackng is gone. I think the last racking gave it a chance to oxidize a bit.

 I wish that I could measure the redox potential of the wine, but I don't have any equipment at home. I suspect that my fermentation demijohn was a reducing environment. 

Anyway, the finished wine has a great color, and better than drinkable. In fact, I need to keep myself from drinking it so it can age a little more. 

Now I need a label that is unpretentious. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2008 Merlot Wine

I racked the 2008 Merlot today. It had a great deal of sediment, and it continues to be a substantial drinkable wine. The wine is "simple" without a lot of tannin flavor, despite the treatment with tea leaves from last month.

It is free from off flavors, and should continue to develop. I am going to let it age until the end of the summer at this point. As you can see the color is dark and the clarity is limited.


January 2011 Update
This wine was really good after a year, but at 2 years it developed an acidic favor that I found distracting. I don't know why this happened, because the bottles and corks looked OK.

There is not much of this batch left, but I intend to add 1g per 750 ml bottle of potassium carbonate to help it.

White Gernache Update

Easter is coming up, and I wanted to get another racking in. The wine is much improved from January. It is drinkable, but it still has an off-flavor that could be yeast, but might be mold. 

As in January, the off-flavor disappears if one aerates the wine. Of course I could be fooling myself, although my DW agreed. 

The color and clarity are great. As pretty as you could want. It is a little golder than standard because I topped off with some cranberry/apple juice.  The picture at right is the actual wine. I recently failed to place in a photo contest, so I am trying to come up with some entries for next year.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Trilobite Cookies

This George Hart is a pretty funny guy. Here is a picture of trilobite cookies that he makes.

I can't possibly made an entry as clever so here is the link, and then the first paragraph of his entry:

Quoting from Prof Hart:

"Trilobites are extinct marine animals which lived gazillions of years ago. Real trilobites may or may not have tasted like chicken. (who knows?) These cookies are the result of my most recent research into what ancient trilobites would have tasted like if primitive biochemical processes were based on jam/chocolate/cookie molecules. Independent paleoconfectionary laboratories often ask for my formula, so I have placed it here for the world to enjoy."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wine Update!

Bet you all are interested in how the 2008 wine is doing.

I went and check on it, and I am proud to claim both are drinkable -- but not ready for prime-time.

The white, a California White Grenache, has improved since Christmas. It has a fruity flavor and the sweetness is gone. The wine has a harsh aroma that dissipates after aerating it. The clarity is good, although the color is a little reddish since I added a bit of cranberry juice. There is much less yeast flavor. The wine has some of-flavor bite to it, and I am not sure what it is. It does not seem plant-y. I am hoping it is a yeast flavor that will disappear. I will rack it again in another month.

The red, a California Merlot, does not have any off-flavors. Its flavor is simple and it has a little young-wine, bourgeois flavor. I am hoping this deepens into something more complex. Right now the flavor far less rich than the Woodbridge Shiraz (2006) that I got at the grocery last weekend.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eggplant Rollatini

This recipe owes a lot to Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero's recipe in their cookbook Veganomicon, although my version is obviously not vegan because of all the cheese.

>One eggplant (peeled, and cut into 1/3 inch slices, lengthwise)
>Pasta sauce (I endorse Paul Newman Marinara sauce)
>1.5 cups Ricotta cheese
> 2 T pine nuts (more is better)
> salt, pepper, basil
> 1/2 cup mozzarella
> 2T parmesan cheese
> 1.25 cup water
>1T + 1t corn starch
> Bread crumbs or flour (season with salt and pepper or even garlic)
> 1 c fresh spinach

Take the eggplant slices and dewater them by salting them and letting them stand for one hour. Rinse off the salt and pat dry.

One of the Veganomicon ideas that I like is using corn starch to hold the breading on rather than egg. Make a sauce by heating the corn starch in water. This takes about 5 minutes in the microwave on high heat at first, and then low heat with occasional stirring.

Dip the eggplant slices in the corn starch solution, then cover with bread crumbs. Place on an oiled cookie sheet.

Bake the eggplant slices until brown, turning once. 350F for 30 minutes.

Make a mixture of the pine nuts, mozzarella, and ricotta. Add salt to taste. (if all you have is canned spinach mix it in here too.)

Allow the eggplant slices to cool. Place several spinach leaves and 2-3 T of cheese filling inside the eggplant slice. Roll it and place it into a baking pan. (Cover the bottom of the baking pan with tomato sauce.

When finished, spoon additional sauce on the top, and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese filling is hot, about 35 minutes at 350 F.

Greg's Focaccia

Focaccia is a flat bread. It differs from pizza in that it does not have tomato sauce and it has much less cheese. The basic flavor is olive oil and garlic. I use minimal vegetables, and then serve the Focaccia in slices with a flavored tomato sauce.


>One recipe of dough, see next section
>Extra virgin olive oil
>Garlic to taste
>Grated romano cheese
>2 T Green olives (recommended, but optional)
>Other vegetables like black olives, sautéed peppers, or dried tomatoes (optional)
>Pepperoni or anchovies (optional)
>Pizza sauce

Take the dough after its first rise, punch it down and roll it into a 13 x 9 cake pan. Very important: put about 2 T of olive oil in the bottom of the pan. This makes the crust much browner and tastier. Allow to rise another hour.

Take your fingers and punch little wells in the top of the risen dough. Make a well every 1-2 inches. Not too deep, but enough to hold the oil. Apply olive oil with a spoon to the top of the dough.

Squish and dice the garlic and distribute on the dough. Apply salt and black pepper. The salt is part of the flavor, so don't skimp to be healthful.

Apply the green olives, other vegetables and toppings. Do not put too much topping on. This is primarily a bread top. One needs the top to get brown and crusty. Too many toppings prevent that. Never put tomato sauce on.

Finally sprinkle with grated romano cheese

Bake until the bread is well cooked and the toppings are warm in the center. I use a hot oven, 400 F for 20 minutes. A pizza stone can be used too.

When done remove the bread from the pan. Place it on a wire rack or directly on the hot pizza stone. Serve immediately. The best part is the fresh bread. If the bread cools without air, it will loose its texture too fast. Slice with a bread knife rather than a pizza cutter.

I always serve it with a flavored tomato sauce -- usually a simple store bought pizza sauce. One can serve it with more olive oil or with butter.


Focaccia Dough

Water 1c + 1t (t= teaspoon)
Oil 2T (T = tablespoon)
Flour 2 and 3/4 c
Sugar 2T
Salt 1 and 1/2 t
Yeast 3T

This is a bread machine recipe, so add the ingredients to your bread machine and use the dough cycle. You can make this on a food processor or heavy blender with a dough hook.

Allow to rise one hour, then punch down and put in the 9" x 13" pan.