I've made focaccia just a few times, usually as an afterthought when I had some dough left over from another bake. Frankly, it's never been very good. Today, I made a focaccia that was really good. Really, really good!
This past weekend, I made a couple loaves of Ken Forkish's "Overnight Country Blonde." Since I was mixing the levain anyway, I made a bit extra for Pizzas. Now, the formula in FWYS makes enough dough for 5 pizzas. I usually make 2 pizzas for the two of us. This time, I made enough dough to have 340g left, with the thought I would make focaccia, and that's what I did.
340g of dough is enough to make a 9" round focaccia in a cast iron skillet, according to Forkish. I made mine in an 8" cake pan. My procedure was as follows:
1. Make Pizza dough according to the Overnight Pizza Dough with Levain. (There was no overnight fermentation for me. The bulk fermentation was complete in about 6 hours.) Divide the dough into 340g pieces. Roll into balls and put in Ziploc sandwich bags with a Tbs of olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
2. 2 hours before baking, take one ball out of the refrigerator. Let it proof at room temperature until increased in volume by about 50%. It should be very puffy.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured board. Gently degas it, turning it over to flour both sides.
4. Stretch the dough as for a pizza into a 8" round.
5. Lightly oil a non-stick 8" cake pan. Transfer the dough to it, and, if needed, stretch it to the pan walls. Cover with a damp towel and let proof for 30-60 minutes, depending on room temperature. The dough should increase in volume by maybe 30%.
6. Pre-heat oven to 500dF (convection-bake, if you have it).
7. Pour 2 Tbs of olive oil on the dough. Spread it around with your fingers while dimpling the dough deeply all over with your finger tips. With your clean hand, sprinkle the dough surface with finely chopped fresh rosemary, coarse salt and any other toppings. ( I pressed pitted, halved Kalamata olives into half of the focaccia.)
8. Bake for 12 minutes. The top should be lightly browned.
9. When ready to serve, cut into rectangular pieces. Can be cut for panini or used for dipping.
Focaccia in pan, ready to bake
Just out of the oven
Ready to slice
This dough had been refrigerated for 3 days. The flavor of the focaccia was complex with moderate sourdough tang. We ate it at room temperature. The crust was thin and soft. The crumb was delightfully chewy but not at all tough. I ate some dipped in hummus and more accompanying roast wild king salmon, corn on the cob and a tomato salad for dinner.
I will definitely make this again! I'm looking forward to using it for Panini and un-grilled sandwiches as well.
Here are some photos of the other weekend baking:
Overnight Country Blonde from FWSY
Overnight Country Blonde crumb
And a slice of Pizza Margherita