Sunday, December 11, 2011

Focaccia

I'm still experimenting to find a perfect focaccia recipe. The ones I've tried before made an amazingly delicious flatbread, but did not display the characteristic chewiness of focaccia. This recipe was my test for my new Kitchenaid, and while the dough hook did an amazing job, the recipe left some things to be desired. My primary issue was the hard outer crust. Yes, the result was finally chewy, but the outside was a little too hard.

Ingredients
1.25 cup water
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cup flour
2 tsp salt

Preparation
Dissolve the yeast in 0.25 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes, until creamy. Whisk together the flour and the salt in a separate bowl.

Add the water and oil to the yeast mixture, whisk and add half of the flour. Stir until just mixed. Add the remaining flour.

Start mixing with the dough hook for 3 minutes on low. Add more water if the dough appears dry. Continue to mix for 10 minutes on medium-high. This should yield an extremely elastic dough.

Coat lightly with oil and transfer to a bowl. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours, until double in size. Fold and allow to rise again for one hour.

Fold over itself to deflate, then coat with oil and place into a Ziplock bag. Store in the fridge for 36 hours.

Remove from the fridge and place the dough onto a floured surface. Allow to rest, covered with plastic foil, for 1.5 hour. Place on a cornmeal-dusted baking shape and stretch gently. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Brush the focaccia with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and coarse sea salt. Bake, spraying the oven with water three times in the first eight minutes. Remove when the bread is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes later.

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