Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Focaccia | Tuesdays with Dorie

focaccia


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


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.

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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21 comments:

  1. your focassia Looks great Karen. Glad your oven is fixed, i dont think i can survive without it.

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    1. Thanks Arlette! it was traumatic =) Luckily, my toaster oven stepped up!

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  2. The crumb on your bread is just perfect.
    I think a wetter dough is critical to good focaccia - so you definitely made the right call!

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    1. Thanks Cher. It was a HUGE hit at work today.

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  3. I like your format of q&a! And the photos are very creative! Kristine Mika

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  4. The crust is fabulous Karen! I had made this focaccia before and it didn´t work for me at all, mainly because of your same issue with yeast. The 3 packages in the fridge were almost bursting halfway through, it just didn´t work. I love my toaster oven and will try baking like you did next time!

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    1. Thank you Paula. It is a lot of yeast! My oven "crisis" has given me a new appreciation of the toaster oven.

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  5. That is one fabulous looking focaccia!
    Never tried baking with a toaster oven - if I am ever feeling adventurous, I may try that route. :)
    Thanks for baking along this week!

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  6. Great photos! The cross section views really show the hole structure well. The focaccia looks beautiful and delicious.

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  7. Your focaccia looks terrific! Those little blisters on top look wonderful. And I love that you've baked focaccia in the toaster oven. We haven't tried that yet. (We bake pies in our toaster oven though) In the summer, we often bake focaccia on one of those inexpensive round pizza stones in the barbecue.

    haha! I can't get over how short a time it took for your focaccia to rise. Our kitchen is invariably so chilly that rising times are at least 2 hours.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! If you can bake pies in the toaster oven, this should be a breeze. I'm still intimidated by pies. My kitchen was cool, but the dough was still out of control =)

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  8. Your focaccia looks fantastic. It really is perfect. Love your pics.

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  9. The big irregular holes in your focaccia look great! Mine also rose quicker than expected, but the end product was still tasty.

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  10. Looks beautiful! I wish mine had been more airy like yours, that's what I was picturing when I read this recipe.

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    1. Thank you Maggie! Focaccia takes some practice, and I've had a lot of it with this type of bread. Keep at it.

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  11. So very beautiful! Gorgeous pictures too!

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  12. Your photos are beautiful. They focaccias look amazing too! It is awesome that you were able to bake one in your toaster oven! I've never used mine for more than toast and reheating pizza! Fun!

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    1. Thanks! Up until now, I'd gone as far as making small casseroles, but not any baking. I'm pretty pleased.

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  13. Beautiful photography. Love the rustic golden brown look of your focaccia. As to why the rising times were so quick, maybe temperature was a factor? A really warm kitchen always helps. Great post.

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