bread

Focaccia Bread

I have been wanting to make a good focaccia bread that is light and airy and a little bit chewy, so have been researching blogs, artisan websites, and bookstores.  I found a site with a video that explained some of the terms, like preferment and poolish, and showed what it takes to make a great focaccia.  I made some last Saturday and it turned out just like I wanted.  I followed the directions I found at http://breadhealthy.com/artisan-bread/focaccia-recipe/focaccia-master-class-part-1-preferment but added a few ingredients.  It was snowing hard Saturday and I didn’t have any bread drink that Chef Keem uses in his video, so I substituted water.  I’ll plan farther ahead next time and buy some and report the difference; maybe the difference is in the nutritional value.

Here is the recipe I used, technique adapted from  Chef Keem’s as shown on his website.

Focaccia Recipe

Preferment:                                                                      

1 ¾ cups water (80 degrees)
¼ cup probiotic drink: Kombucha or bread drink (I didn’t have any so substituted water)
2 cups of bread flour
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar

Dough:

1 cup water (80 degrees)
3 cups bread flour
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
Preferment from above
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (next time I’ll use about 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic)
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp thyme
2/3 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped

Instructions for making the preferment or poolish:
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl, consistency should be like a pancake batter.  Cover the bowl and poolish with a plastic bag and set aside for 5 or 6 hours, stirring occasionally in a folding motion.

Making the focaccia dough:
Mix together all above ingredients with about 100 beats of spoon, using a turning rather than a beating technique.  Cover with a bag and let the dough rest about an hour.  Pull the dough away from the side of the bowl and drizzle a little olive oil between the dough and the bowl.  Pull and fold the dough 4 to 8 times with well-oiled hands, as seen on Chef Keem’s video.  If you haven’t watched his video, please do, because his explanations are very helpful.  Let the dough rest and pull and fold it again, then rest and fold one more time, letting it rest about an hour between each folding.
Prepare a couple large cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper and drizzling some olive oil on them.  Oil your hands, divide the dough, place on the prepared cookie sheets, and gently work it with your fingertips to stretch it, let as many air bubbles as you can remain in the dough, drizzle some olive oil on top of the dough (about ¼ cup).  Let it rest a few minutes, then work with it some more.  To cover most of the pan, it will take two or three rest periods.  Let it raise, undisturbed for an hour or so, then bake it in a preheated 500° oven.  Start checking after 15 minutes to see if it is done. Turn down the heat to 425° the last 5 minutes.  Mine took about 20 minutes to bake.

You can add a cheese or topping if you wish, before and during the baking process.  Watch Chef Keem’s video for hints on adding toppings.
Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 Focaccia Bread No Comments

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