Focaccia Bread

Roopa

I thought I’d venture out with my bread baking and decided to try making focaccia! I’ve never made it before, but I had renewed confidence based on my bread roll success! I’ve started making a sourdough levain, but that will be at least another week or two. I evaluated a few different recipes and settled on this one from Home Cooking Adventure because I had the correct flour. I don’t know how it is out there, but flour and other baking staples are in short supply from all the panic buying. It turned out SO well. I forgot to put my chopped up cherry tomatoes on top, so that just means I need to make it again right?

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The original recipe can be found here with a few more pictures. I halved it, and have put my altitude adjustments in italic.

Also, here is a rough timing breakdown so you can pace appropriately. It will vary a little bit but should give you a decent sense of how long things will take. The active working steps are in bold.

20 minutes: combine ingredients
1 hour: proof
5 minutes: re-work dough
30 minutes: rest
5 minutes: stretch dough into pan
30 minutes: rest
30 minutes: bake (425 F)


FOCCACIA DOUGH

INGREDIENTS

  • 315 g bread flour*
  • 7.5 g (1 tsp.) salt
  • 5 g (1 tsp.) granulated
  • 15 g fresh yeast (I used 13g)*
  • 200 g room temp. water (I added 10 – 20 mL more until the dough was a little sticky) 
  • 28 olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add the yeast and half of the water to the bowl, and combine everything with your hands.
  3. Add the remainder of the water and the olive oil, and combine everything into a sticky ball.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be sticky, but will become smoother as the gluten develops.
  5. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (5 – 10 minutes). I like to use the gluten window test to check if my gluten is developed.
  6. Form a boule and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap, and let it proof for ~1 hour at room temperature until it has doubled in size.
  7. Lightly oil your working surface. Stretch the dough into a rectangle, and fold over in thirds. Rotate 90 degrees, and fold in thirds again. Here is a reference on the letter fold.
  8. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  9. After the dough has rested, put the dough in a greased 9″ X 13″ pan and stretch it to fit the entire pan. Cover the dough and let it rest for another 30 minutes.

Notes:

  • Be sure to use bread flour if possible. Bread flour has a higher gluten content than all purpose flour which is important for getting the right texture in bread.
  • If you are (most likely) using dry yeast, then you need to use 1/2 or 1/3 of the amount depending on the kind of yeast you have.

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TOPPING + BAKING

INGREDIENTS

  • 28 g olive oil
  • 15 g (1 tbsp.) water
  • Rosemary (ideally fresh but I had it dry)

DIRECTIONS

  1. While the dough is resting in the pan, preheat the oven to 425 F. Put in a pan of water to create steam.
  2. Mix together the olive oil, water, and herbs.
  3. When the dough is ready to bake, poke holes in the dough with your fingers. Pour the olive oil mixture over the dough and brush it across the surface evenly.
    1. Sprinkle salt (I used Maldon sea salt flakes) across the surface
    2. Add any other desired toppings (garlic, tomatoes, etc.)
  4. Bake for ~20 – 30 minutes, until the surface of the bread is golden-brown.
  5. Once the focaccia is baked, allow it to cool on a cooling rack before cutting it.

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