Saturday, April 21, 2012

Focaccia

The last time I wrote about focaccia bread I was in the middle of my culinary program at Le Cordon Bleu.  I've since reworked the recipe a little bit to make it easier for at-home cooking. I still recommend using a digital scale to weigh the bread flour and the sea salt though. 

Focaccia is an Italian bread; in ancient Rome, pains focacius was a flat bread baked in the ashes of the fireplace. The word is derived from the Latin focus meaning “centre” and also “fireplace” – the fireplace being in the centre of the house. 

From start to finish - this recipe takes about 2-3 hours to complete, all depending on how quickly your dough rises. 

Focaccia


Ingredients
16 oz water (lukewarm)
1 ounce fresh yeast (or 2 packets of dry yeast)
28 oz bread flour
1/2 oz kosher salt
2 fl oz olive oil
fresh rosemary
 2 ounces flake sea salt (for sprinkling on top)
1/4 c olive oil (for drizzling on top)
handful of pitted kalamata or other olives (for the top)

Method
1. preheat oven to 400 F
2. dissolve yeast in water
3. add flour, salt, and olive oil 
4. knead in stand mixer for 8 minutes with dough hook attachment until dough is soft 
5.  In a large oiled bowl, let your dough sit (covered in plastic wrap) in a quiet, warm place to proof for 1.5 hr or until doubled in size.



6. cover half sheet pan (full-size home oven sheet tray) in parchment paper and spread dough with hands in layer across pan (should be about 3/4 inch thick)
7. let rise again to double in size
8. poke dimples all over with your finger
9. drizzle with olive, chopped rosemary,  and flake sea salt. Press olives into the dough dimples. 
10. bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top

Note: You can add almost any toppings that you want during Step # 9. Olive oil and salt are the basics and then you can add herbs, roasted tomatoes, shallots, onions, cheese...etc.

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