The Hunger Games...and Peeta's Bread....

Yes, I am a 35 year old woman and I am beside myself with excitement about the upcoming release of the movie The Hunger Games.  This popular book by Suzanne Collins was made into a movie that is being released on March 23 at Midnight.

Like the Twilight Saga and Harry Potter, this series is highly anticipated by thousands of people worldwide.  I am one of them and I am not ashamed to admit it.

I read this book when it first came out.  It was recommended to me by another teacher-friend of mine, Laura.  I know, based off of her glowing report, that I would fall in love with the book.  I did more than fall...I plummeted!

My husband and I read these books in record time. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish.  It was literally edge of your seat reading. I finished the last of the 3 books wanting more. I was so immersed in the story line and characters and the fact that is was unlike anything I had ever read before or since.

Seeing this, my 12 year old begged me to read this book.  I bought him his own copy and he literally stayed up all night reading it.  We were neck in neck to finish the last book.  If nothing more, it gave us something in common and another topicto discuss and debate.

So I felt it was timely to make a fresh loaf of bread to share with someone who needs it, Like Peeta did with Katniss.

Leave me a comment below if you TOO are a Hunger Games fan :)

Focaccia Bread
From the Red Star Yeast website
1 C water
1 TB olive oil
3 C bread flour- I used King Arthur
1 tsp salt
1 TB sugar
1 1/4 tsp Red Star active dry yeast
Sea salt and olive oil for crust, optional


Have liquid ingredients at 80°F and all others at room temperature. Place ingredients in pan in the order listed. Select dough/manual cycle. Do not use the delay. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. When cycle is complete, remove dough and follow directions under the Shaping, Rising and Baking.
Combine yeast, 1 cup flour and other dry ingredients. Combine water and oil; heat water to 120° to 130°F.

Hand-Held Mixer Method
Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add additional flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.  
Stand Mixer Method
Combine dry mixture and liquid ingredients in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.  
Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Shape into a ball, place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten to a 14-inch circle.  Using your fingers or a butter knife, poke the surface to dimple the focaccia. Cover; let rise about 15 minutes. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt (optional). Bake in preheated 375°F oven 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to cool. Serve warm or cool.



Heather Tallman

Newspaper Columnist, Food Writer and creator of

Basilmomma: A Busy Mom That Likes to Cook


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