January 22, 2005

Focaccia Recipe

focacciaI think I promised to provide this recipe a while ago. Regardless, Bil asked me for it, so I’m posting it here. While it’s not an overly complex recipe, it’s probably not the first bread recipe you want to try out. If you’re just starting baking bread, there are many simple recipes that will give you the feel of it, and there are a couple of books I can recommend.

However, if you like to jump right in, I say why not?

The focaccia recipe is below the fold…

Rosemary Focaccia

1 tablespoon Rosemary
1 cup Water
2/3 cups Water
4 tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 cup Cornmeal
6 1/2 cups Bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Instant yeast
4 teaspoons Salt
  • Crush or grind the rosemary to make the pieces smaller and release the oils. A mortar and pestle are helpful here.
  • Optionally add any other spices that go with rosemary. Thyme, basil, dried roasted garlic, etc.
  • Steep the rosemary in the 1 cup of water as you bring it to a boll in a small saucepan.
  • Slowly mix in the cornmeal and continue to mix , until it thickens, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the remaining water and oil to the saucepan, mix as thoroughly as possible (I find that the cooked corn meal stays somewhat lumpy here) and bring the mixture up to between 115 and 120 degrees F.
  • The mixing directions are geared toward using an electric mixer. If you do not have an electric mixer, mix with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl.
  • If you have an electric mixer, place the liquid mixture into the mixer bowl and fit the mixer with its dough hook.
  • Add 2 cups of the flour and the yeast.
  • Mix with on a low speed until smooth.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes - it is currently a “sponge” and should rise a bit in that time.
  • On low speed, stir in the remaining flour and the salt until the dough cleans the side of the bowl
  • Knead for 5 to 7 minutes. (By hand it will take about 10 minutes)
  • Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl, covered.
  • Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
  • Punch down and spread the dough out flat inside a 13” deep dish pizza pan. If you don’t have a pizza pan like that, just use any heavy sheet pan and form the dough into a rough rectangle.
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 F
  • While you are heating the oven, use your fingertips to dimple the dough, then drizzle olive oil over the surface. If you like, sprinkle the surface of the dough with kosher salt and whatever spices you desire.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. I find the crust improves if I bake for 20 minutes then remove from the pan carefully and finish the last 5 minutes on the oven rack directly.
  • Remove from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting board. I like to let the bread rest for 15 minutes, but you might not be able to wait. Cut as desired and serve!
Posted by James at January 22, 2005 3:12 PM
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oh yeah - i'll second Tassajara. great book, with fabulous recipes. have you tried Brother Juniper's Bread Book?

Posted by: beth at January 23, 2005 10:23 PM

I have not, actually. Is it good?

Posted by: James at January 23, 2005 11:47 PM

OK - it turns out that the recipe I based this on had a typo in it. It had far too much water in it. Apparently I was compendating by adding flour during the kneading process. I guess I was adding a lot more flour than I thought. So, I'm going to have to go back and try to figure out what the ratio of water to flour is.

Sorry folks. The above recipe ought to work, but it's not the recipe I was using, exactly.

Posted by: James at January 23, 2005 11:51 PM

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