This was really fun to make. I decided to try something with a poolish today, and I'm so glad I picked focaccia! But wow does this recipe make a lot. Even though it took a while, the results are really worth it. I've never made focaccia of any kind before, but this was way better than any store-bought stuff I've had in the past. Here's the crumb:
I left my poolish out overnight because I was... well.. lazy. BBA says to ferment it for four hours and then refrigerate it overnight, but I was tired and I wanted to go to bed, so I left it outside as a compromise. It wasn't as warm as my house, and it wasn't as cool as the refrigerator. It had the added bonus of not requiring a warm-up period when I felt like baking in the morning. I figured it wouldn't make a huge difference if I cheated this way, and I was right! It still tasted great in the end. The poolish was a really fun consistency.
This dough was a lot easier for me to work with than the pain a l'ancienne dough, even though they're both really wet and slack. Folding was a lot easier than the ancienne shaping for some reason. I've never done the stretch and fold before, and I really like the technique. Really easy but produces a nice result. I was surprised at how the dough changed just from three folds, 30 minutes apart.
The shaping was also a lot of fun. Maybe I just like playing with my food? I did an herb oil with as much fresh basil as I could remove from my plant without killing it, and supplement with some dried italian herbs. I was out of flaked kosher salt, which was sad, but I had sea salt in a table-salt sized grind. I'll definitely get the larger salt for the next batch.
If anything I think I should have degassed it a little more. It puffed WAY up, especially on one side that was particularly bubbly. I gave half of it away to my best friend, and I'm thinking about making it again for a party this weekend. Seems like an ideal food for a lot of people who want to nibble and drink some wine!
Anyone know the best way to store it? Covered? Plastic wrap? Uncovered?