Focaccia Bread; Chewy, soft, oniony, herbed and just beckoning to be dipped in olive oil. As amazing as this bread is, you’d think it were difficult as hell to make! But it is honestly one of the easiest breads to make. I used to make this in the restaurant when I didn’t have the time to put into benching and watching my bread. All you need is a a mixer with a dough hook, the ingredients, and some patience.
This is a great bread that can be made the day of. Unlike ciabatta and sourdough which take 2 days. People will think you had your hands in dough for days working just for them!
6 oz Bread Flour
6 oz Water
3 oz Yeast
2 ¼ lb Bread Flour
18 oz Water
4 oz Oil
21 g salt
3 Shallots (if not available, use ½ a red onion)
¾ C Olive Oil
2 Sprig Rosemary
1 Bunch Parsley
Salt & Pepper To Taste
The first grouping of ingredients is for what’s called a “Poolish”. If we were to let this rest overnight, it would develop a slight sour flavor. Almost like a sourdough starter. Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, mix the first ingredients until smooth.
Once your Poolish has been made, add the rest of the Bread flour, water, and oil. Using the dough hook attachment on medium low, bring the ingredients together until it’s just starting to pull from the sides of the bowl. But not quite mixed into a dough.
Add the salt and finish mixing until the dough is formed. Adding the salt too early on in the mixing process could kill the yeast. This means you to have to start over after hours of waiting for it to double in size…believe me…it sucks…
Now comes the time for letting your dough rise. I’d like to give you a time for how long it will take, but this time will be different for each individual batch. Best thing to do is to place a mark on your bowl showing where the dough started. Cover your dough and place it somewhere warm and humid to rise.
Once the dough has fully doubled in size, punch it down…I mean literally punch it to deflate it. Cover it back up and place it back in a warm and humid room. let it double in size again.
This time, dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Take a rolling pin and roll it out to the shape of the pan you’re baking it on.
grease the pan you’re baking on and place the dough on it. Next, take your fingers and poke dents all over the dough.
Take the remaining ingredients and put them in a food processor. Pulse until onion is in small pieces, almost pureed, but not quite. take the mixture, also known as a “blessing”, and rub it all over the top of the bread.
bake at 450 for about 15 minutes. after 15 minutes, turn the bread, then bake another 15 minutes. When the bread is done, the blessing should be nicely caramelized and sweet smelling. The crust on your bread should be crisp, and golden brown.
Let the bread cool to room temperature before slicing. Slicing it while it’s still hot will cause the light and airy inside to compress and become gummy.
Enjoy! Pair it with olive oil or slice it thin for crostini for bruschetta. Either way, this bread is just plain delicious…
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