This week the Tuesdays with Dorie group is baking focaccia. This recipe was created by Craig Kominiak, one of the contributing bakers for the book, Baking with Julia (as in Child) edited by Dorie Greenspan, and based on the PBS series of the same name. I've been having a lot of fun viewing the various videos online before baking the dish of the week.
Focaccia you say? I do have some experience making focaccia, (see my post on roasted pepper and chili focaccia, onion and sage focaccia, fresh berry focaccia (which actually involves this dough), and Bread Baker's Apprentice focaccia.
This dough consists of flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil, and is mixed for about 10 minutes in a stand mixer until it is glossy and elastic. Judging from the PBS video of Craig Kominiak making this bread, I would guess that my dough was a little more hydrated than his. I chose to leave it that way because I wanted to see if I could develop a very airy focaccia.
How did this recipe differ from the description in the book? Well, my first rise took 15 minutes when it was supposed to take an hour and a half! What? I checked and rechecked the yeast amount and know I was accurate so I have no idea why this happened. My second rise took 20 minutes while it was supposed to take about an hour. Yikes! This one liter of dough was suddenly 4 liters.
At this point, the dough is divided into three pieces, bagged, and cold fermented over night in the refrigerator to develop flavor.
What did I do differently from the recipe? Instead of baking the breads on the baking stone, I baked mine on oiled quarter sheet pans. I even baked one in the toaster oven. (The same one in which I baked my last post, the Boston cream pie. I'm still very excited to find out that my toaster oven can properly bake cakes and breads). Actually, the one baked in the toaster oven baked faster and browned better. Hmmm. Also, rather than stretch and slash the dough to get it to the desired size as described in the book, I used my fingertips to dimple it and slowly coax it to the edges of the pan.
Suggested way to season the focaccia breads: Infuse some olive oil with crushed red peppers and brush it on top of the breads. Sprinkle the loaves with some chopped fresh rosemary and sage, a light dusting of crushed dehydrated onion and garlic, and a light sprinkling of sea salt. So good.
For the complete recipe: Please visit Wandering Through... To see others' experiences and ideas with this recipe, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie site and check out the links.
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