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Anyway, in American bakeries and grocery stores, focaccia tends to be a much thicker bread so the thinness of this one may be surprising to some of you. But take heart, you can still use it to make a lovely grilled cheese sandwich. Credit where credit is due, this is a variation on a recipe I originally saw in the New York Times a few months ago, and I always stick with my King Arthur Flours.
Whole Wheat Focaccia
-6 oz. (by weight) whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups)
-6 oz. all purpose flour (1 1/4 cups)
-1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
-7 oz. (by volume) water (7/8 cup)
First things first, mix your flours together in a bowl.
Now, take a bigger bowl and your salt, yeast, oil and water. Pay attention because this is important: Some people have very strong feelings on the order in which you add the ingredients e.g. combine the yeast with the water to make sure it’s active, add the yeast to the flour to prevent clumping, add the salt at the end, etc. Unless your using a recipe which specifically says otherwise, do it however you like. And unless you haven’t used your yeast for 2 months or more, it’s probably fine.
Stir until the salt and yeast are dissolved, then add in the flour mixture about one quarter at a time. Once the last of the flour is incorporated, cover the bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes. This will allow the starches and gluten to absorb the water in a process called autolyzation. The upshot of this is higher rising and less kneading.
Once the dough has had a chance to rest, knead it on a well-floured counter for 10 minutes. Keep a little pile of flour so you can dust your hands if the dough starts to get a little too sticky.
Now back into the bowl, oiled this time, and let rise at least 2-6 hours.
If you’ve got a cast iron griddle or 8 inch frying pan, awesome. Get it. If not, place some parchment paper (or flour) on a baking sheet.
When done rising, flop the dough onto a floured work surface , form into a rough eight inch circle and transer to your baking sheet. Cover lightly with a damp cloth or oiled plastic wrap and let rise for one hour. Halfway through, dimple the bread with your finger tips and top. I like to keep it simple with: 1 Tablespoon olive oil, a sprinke of a big, crunchy sea salt and some dried rosemary. Lately I’ve been using Hawaiian Red sea salt.
Pre-heat the oven to 425F and let the bread rise the other half-hour.
Bake the bread in the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes. The finished product should look a little like this.
Alternatively, you can roll the dough out very thin after rising, and use it to make pizza. Boo-yah. Top it with whatever you like and bake it at the same temp for 15-20 minutes. This one has summer squash, home-made pepperoni a buddy shipped me from Iowa, mozzeralla and leftover marinara I pureed into pizza sauce.
- Roasted Garlic Focaccia (bakingfanatic.wordpress.com)
- Wicked awesome focaccia!! (arielkie.wordpress.com)