The Fresh Loaf

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focaccia

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bshuval's picture

Reinhart's WW focaccia

January 5, 2008 - 10:26pm -- bshuval

I've decided to make Peter Reinhart's whole wheat focaccia from his new WGB. Of course I had to make a few changes. I omitted the sweetener and the olive oil in the dough. I used a minimal amount of olive oil to shape the focaccia (less than a teaspoon), and I added some rosemary on top of the focaccia (I like rosemary). Here is a shot of the focaccia after it had cooled and I cut it. I am very happy with it.

 

bshuval's picture
bshuval

Today I decided to bake the Grape Harvest Focaccia from Daniel Leader's new book, Local Breads.

Since I prefer my doughs to be lean where possible, I decided to make it without the 1/3 cup of olive oil in the dough that the recipe calls for. I only used about half a tablespoon of olive oil for spreading over the dough before baking. I also increased the amount of red grapes. The amount called for in the recipe didn't seem to be enough. 

I was very happy with the result. I don't miss the oil at all, and the focaccia is moist and flavorful. The rosemary gives a delightful taste (and fragrance) to the bread. This bread is recommended. 

I am including three pictures:

The whole focaccia, just out of the oven:

  Grape Harvest Focaccia, whole

 Here is a close-up of the focaccia:

Close-up of Grape Harvest Focaccia

And here it is, sliced: 

Grape Harvest Focaccia, sliced

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Savory Sourdough Focaccia

I spent the day making a couple of sourdough focaccias and a miche that is similar to the Thom Leonard Country French recipe in Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer. The recipe for the focaccias follows.

A spread sheet in xls format and html format for the dough is posted, which has amounts in ounces and bakers percentages, percent of fermented flour and other possibly useful information. Some photos of the process are posted, as well.

These focaccias use a small amount of instant yeast. Olive oil seems to significantly slow the activity of the sourdough once it is introduced in the dough. The fermentation in this recipe runs long enough before a large amount of olive oil is added to the dough to allow the sourdough flavor to develop.

Levain:

  • 15g of white flour starter (I used my 90% hydration starter, but you can use any healthy, active starter) Use about 12g of 60% hydration firm starter.
  • 216g of bread flour (I used Wheat Montana AP, which is like bread flour despite the AP designation)
  • 194g of water

Let the levain rise overnight until at least doubled. It can ripen a few more hours after that without changing the results very much. The levain is designed to rise for 12 hours at 70F. At 76F it might take 8 hours to be ready and at 65F it would take about 15 hours to be ready. If the levain is ready before you want to mix the dough, refrigerate it when it has about doubled, and it can be used 1 or 2 days later.

Dough:

  • 14g Malt Syrup
  • 22g Salt (1.6%, because I put additional salt on the raisin focaccia, and the chorizo and cheeses add additional salt in the savory version)
  • 4g instant yeast
  • 70g olive oil
  • 988g water
  • 84g whole rye flour
  • 84g whole wheat Flour (I used Wheat MT Bronze Chief)
  • 280g bread flour (I used Wheat MT AP)
  • 350g high gluten flour (I used KA Sir Lancelot HG)
  • 378g AP flour (I used KA organic AP)

Mixing and Kneading

You could easily use all bread flour for the white flours in the dough. This is just what I did due to finishing some bags of flour. I usually use 50% AP and 50% high gluten flour in this dough.

I mixed the dough in a DLX mixer at low/medium speed with the dough roller attachment for 5 minutes, and let it rest a few minutes. Then I split the dough in half. To one half I added a box of golden raisins - about 15 ounces, and mixed the dough for another few minutes to further develop the gluten. The other half of the dough was separately mixed for a few more minutes.

Each half of the dough was allowed to rest about 1/2 hour and then poured out on the surface and folded a few times and each was placed in its own covered bowl to rise.

Folding and Bulk Fermentation

Each dough was folded about once per hour over the course of about 3.75 hours and was at about 75F. At 70F the bulk fermentation should run longer, maybe 5 hours. The dough should become puffy and soft over that time. How much it rises is hard to tell, since it is being somewhat deflated during the foldings that are done once per hour.

Prepare Ingredients for Savory Focaccia

Sautee 1/4 inch on a side pieces of chorizo or other salty, firm sausage in olive oil until they render some of their fat and are somewhat browned. They will cook more in the focaccia, so they shouldn't be sauteed so much that they become hard. Roughly chop most of a large onion and 4-6 garlic cloves. The onions should end up in strips about 1 inch by 1/4 inch. The garlic pieces should be about 1/4 inch on a side. Sautee with some red and black pepper (maybe 1/2-1 tsp, depending on how spicey you want it). Sautee the onion and garlic until tender and translucent or beginning to brown. Chop up fresh mozzarella, about 1/2 pound into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch on a side chunks. Also have on hand enough shaved or shredded asiago or parmesan or similar salty flaked dry cheese for topping the savory focaccia. Drain the sauteed ingredients well and spread out on the counter or place in refrigerator. They will need to cool to room temperature before being pushed into the focaccia.

Place in Pan

Line a 1/2 size standard tray (about 17x13x1 inches) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper with olive oil, about 1/4 cup. Place the dough on the parchment paper and patiently press it your fingers starting from the center and working out to the edges. If the dough will not spread out, let it rest a few minutes, and continue pressing it out. Don't squeeze it with flat palms, only press straight down, dimpling it with your fingers. With patience it spread out over the whole pan. Don't worry too much about filling the corners.

In the case of the savory focaccia, as you spread it out, drizzle about another 1/4 cup of herb infused olive oil on top. Also, once it is reasonably spread out, begin to work in the sauteed ingredients and the mozzarella cheese. Push the ingredients into the dough with your fingers. Continue to patiently push all the ingredients down. At first they may pop back up or remain on the surface. After a while the puffy dough will begin to envelop them. Every few minutes for the first hour of the final proof, continue to press in the ingredients.

In the case of the raisin focaccia, just let it rise for the first hour, while pressing in the ingredients in the savory focaccia. After an hour, press the raisin focaccia down with your fingers, working across the entire dough surface.

Proof

Cover both focaccias with plastic wrap and allow them to proof for another 2.5 to 3 hours at 75F. If they become very puffy, remove the plastic wrap and gently press them down with your fingers. The dough should be puffy, evenly risen across the whole pan, and at about the height of the top lip of the pan or a little higher. Poke any big bubbles that form with your fingers while pressing down the dough.

Toppings

Before the raisin focaccia is baked, sprinkle 3/4 tsp of salt evenly across the surface. Use your fingers to pinch the salt and carefully spread it over the dough.

The shaved, flaked, or shredded asiago or parmesan cheese should be sprinkled over the savory focaccia when it is within 5 minutes of being taken out of the oven during the bake.

Bake

These focaccias were baked in a brick oven that had been brought to a hearth temperature of about 550F and allowed to cool down to about 510F. The air temperature in the oven was about 425F. They baked for about 15-20 minutes, first in the pan for 5 minutes. They were then scooped out of the pan with a peel and placed directly on the oven floor. If I were doing this in my kitchen oven, I would bake in the pan for about 20 minutes in an oven with a stone preheated for about 1/2 hour to 450F. It may help to gently scoop the focaccia out of the pan onto a peel and drop it directly on the stone, but is not necessary. I sometimes notice a second oven spring when I drop them directly onto the stone.

Cool

If they haven't been removed from the pan, slip a peel underneath the parchment paper and carefully remove the focaccia from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper also. The bottom of the focaccia will come out better if exposed to air while cooling. Allow to fully cool before cutting.

Results

The sourdough flavor goes well with both the raisins and the savory flavored focaccias. These focaccias are favorites among family and friends and are regularly requested.

zolablue's picture
zolablue

 

Fall is in the air and beautiful blue-violet grapes are in the market and I could not resist the cartons of gorgeous, sweet scented concord grapes.  What better to do with them than to bake a grape focaccia.

 

The only other focaccia I’ve baked so far is Bill W’s wonderful sourdough raisin focaccia which I highly recommend.  I wanted to do a sourdough version of this one but being a bit inexperienced in this area I was unsure of how the sugar and oil may impact the sourdough so for this first grape focaccia I decided to use a small amount of starter and treat it more as an added ingredient for extra flavor.  (Me too chicken…?)  I also wanted to use some spelt flour and turbinado sugar so here is the recipe.



Concord Grape Focaccia

 

255g Concord grapes, seeded

310g water

76g liquid levain

300g bread flour
150g spelt flour
8g instant yeast
4g salt

1 tablespoon honey
2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1 tablespoon sanding sugar



Add sourdough starter to the water and dissolve.  In a mixing bowl, add the flour, instant yeast, honey, salt, and water (with starter mixed in).   Mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes.  Place in container and let rise until double.

Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and press into a round a little bigger than the oven form you will be using for baking.   I used a 9” x 2" round cake pan.  Pour 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and swirl around to cover the sides.  Dump any excess oil onto the top of the dough in the center and spread to cover.  Pick up the dough quickly and place it over the baking pan allowing some of the dough to overflow the sides.  You will use this to flap over the grapes inside.

Place roughly 2/3 of the grapes into the form and press slightly into the dough.  Gather the edges of dough hanging over the pan and bring them together over the top of the grapes and slightly pinch together pressing down on the dough in the pan to make sure it is against all the sides.

 

Add the remaining grapes over the top slightly pressing them into the dough.  Drizzle about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the top.  Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar followed by 1 tablespoon of sanding sugar over the top of that. 

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F while the dough begins to rise again – about a half hour.  The dough had reached the top of the cake pan. 

 

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown on top. 

 

Remove from oven and take focaccia out of pan to cool on rack.  Cut into wedges and serve.

   

This was as if I’d filled it with grape jelly and it smelled amazing.  The dough was very soft and I suppose that was due to the sourdough starter I added.  I’m not sure if the spelt had anything to do with that as I’ve only baked with spelt a few times adding it to other sourdough loaves.  It was really gooey and delicious.

 

 

I am going to make this again later in the week but try and press the dough out flatter and bake on a stone so the bottom gets nice and browned as well.  I also think I’ll add more spelt and reduce the bread flour just to see how that tastes.  This was almost like a cake bread, very spongy and soft and moist.  Not too sweet either even with the sugars sprinkled on top. I think for the size and shape I baked the amount of grapes was perfect although I think if I flatten it into a larger shape I will increase the amount of grapes used just to make sure it covers the dough adequately.  Ugh, they’re so much fun to seed…not.  But it is well worth the effort. 

 

This was really fun and I don’t know how I can improve on the flavor of it but we’ll see. I think it will be a fun recipe to experiment with.  I’ll post more results here as I tweak and see what works best because the concord grapes won’t be here forever.

 

  

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3648690#208178433

   
JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I baked quite a bit this weekend, but, though it may seem I did nothing but bake, I really didn't. The nice thing about baking, especially now that I'm using the stretch and fold technique instead of traditional kneading, is that there's actually very little hands-on time required, except for bagels -- I'm sure it would work, but I don't want them to ferment that long before popping them in the fridge. So I still sometimes need to knead.

Saturday morning, we had sourdough whole wheat bagels. This time, though, I used a wet, 100% hydration starter. I think the sourdough tang was more pronounced, but it could very well be that I tasted what I expected to taste.

Later that evening, we had Desem bread. This loaf was not my best. Once again, I put the loaf on a hot stone and put the bell top the cloche over it. Once again, I pinched the edge of the loaf, which gave me a flat, burnt edge and prevented full oven spring. Still, it was tasty and the crumb was relatively open. It went beautifully with the broccoli, red pepper and cheddar chowder. Also, I highly recommend this recipe for baked peas.



That evening, I made two loaves of our weekly sourdough sandwich bread. %&*#$@Qing bread STUCK on me. Well, just one loaf. And it didn't rip in half, it just sort of opened up the side a bit. Salvagable. I knew I wasn't being thorough enough greasing the pan. That'll teach me.

Today, I had to be a bit creative. I was eager to make a recipe for Spelt Focaccia from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking book. But I also had a meeting directly after church for our environmental committee.

I had a plan.

I packed the biga, all the dry ingredients in a big Tupperware, and a small Tupperware with the wet ingredients. Then, just before the meeting, I mixed it all up. After the meeting was done, I folded it, put it in the back of the wagon, and hauled the dough and my daughter back to the house (it's less than a mile away). Mission accomplished. The topping: roasted onions and olives.



I paired it with a simple salad and cream of asparagus soup.

The focaccia was good, though next time, I'll use plain olives instead of kalamata. Far too salty.

Next week, my folks are up and we're heading to Providence, RI, to try Al Fourno, the birthplace of grilled pizza! I'll report back. (Last week, btw, I visited the Cheese Board in Berkeley, Calif., which makes just one type of pizza every day. A real hole in the wall joint, with a sourdough crust. I loved the place -- we bought a bottle of wine and sat down in one of the six chairs they've got beside the three-man jazz band playing that night. The pizza? Eh. Was OK, but I wasn't wowed.)

pumpkinpapa's picture
pumpkinpapa

I made a delicious sweet focaccia with granny smith apples sprinkled with thyme and sugar. Incredible flavours coming together. It went over very well with family and friends. I think next time I will use a more tart apple.

Thyme scented apple focaccia 

I also made a wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumb topping. I love rhubarb and mine is coming along nicely in the garden.

Strawberry rhubarb pie 

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