Thursday, October 7, 2010

31 While 31--Focaccia

One of my favorite things about my list of 30 Things to Make While I'm 30 is the fact that many other bloggers liked the idea and have created their own lists.  One of these is my friend, Elly, blogger extraordinaire and host of Elly Says Opa!  Elly is a little younger, so her list is 30 things she wants to make by the time she turns 30.  Since she's awesome in so many other ways, I'll let the younger thing slide...

After Elly made her list, we both realized we had focaccia on our lists.  Naturally, we decided it would be fun to make the bread together.  (Together being a relative term, of course, since Elly lives in Chicago and I live in Phoenix.)  I made this classic focaccia, while Elly decided on an beautiful herbed version.  Click here to see her work.

And let me tell you, readers, this bread was really fun to make.  It came together easily, although it was slightly on the sticky side.  Just make sure your work surface is very well floured and you should be good to go!


Focaccia
from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking

Ingredients:
2 packages (5 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 3/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 c. all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
freshly-ground black pepper (my addition)

Directions:
1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about five minutes.  

2.  Add the sugar, 1/2 c. of olive oil, the flour, and the fine salt. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes.  Add up to 1/2 c. flour while kneading to prevent the dough from sticking.  

3.  Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  (For a more flavorful bread, make the dough to this point, punch down, recover, and refrigerate overnight.  Let dough return to room temperature before shaping.)

4.  Pour the remaining 1/4 c. oil evenly into a half-sheet pan (jelly roll pan).  Turn the dough out into the pan and press evenly until it fills the pan.  If it is too elastic to spread, let it rest five minutes more, then try again.  Cover the pan loosely with a dry kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about one hour.
5.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. 

6.  Dimple the dough by pressing your fingertips all the way into it at one inch intervals.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper, if desired.

7.  Bake until golden brown, 20-30 minutes.  (Mine was done in about 23 minutes.)  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan.  

8.  Cut into squares or strips and serve warm or at room temperature.  Store tightly wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature for a day or freeze for up to two weeks.  To reheat, place in a 375 degree F oven for ten minutes.


two years ago: black bean soup with cumin crema

5 comments :

elly said...

Thanks for baking with me. :) Your focaccia looks great!

The Urban Baker said...

i love bread, I wish I didn't, but I do. This looks fabulous!

Kira said...

I love focaccia, and H always wants me to make it whenever we have anything Italian. WAY too many carbs! Your's looks great!

Natalie said...

yum, I love a good focaccia! The one time I made it, I overcooked it a bit so I'm due to try again :)

suwat said...

Next year may have one more thing. By the way, thank you for sharing.