I’ve been looking forward to doing the Focaccia. A couple of days before Bake Day, I prepped the Herb Oil: I warmed a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to about 100 degrees (well, 110 degrees). Chopped a bunch of fresh Basil, Oregano, and Rosemary and added them to the oil. Added a spoonful of salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Day before Bake Day: I only had time to do the Poolish on Day 1, so that’s the version I did. For the poolish, I used bread flour. For the rest of the flour, I used All Purpose flour.
Bake Day: I mixed everything by hand. It was a very loose dough! I mixed the dough in the bowl using my hand like a dough hook for about 5 minutes. Frankly, it was too hot to keep it up, although I really felt the dough needed more development. I did some ‘slap and folds’ on the counter, but the dough was so slack, I’m not sure it was that effective. Somewhere in here, I realized I’d forgotten to add garlic to the Herb Oil!! Can’t make this without garlic in the oil! So pressed a couple of cloves and added them to the oil. An hour of steeping is better than nothing!
Kneaded dough before Stretch and Folds
I decided to carry on with the dough and see how it went. After 30 minutes, I did a stretch and fold. And another in another 30 minutes. Then dusted and covered the dough to rise.
For the pan, all I had was a 10″ x 15″ stone pan. As the dough was going to have to rise in the pan, the pan was not going to have a chance to pre-heat. And since the focaccia was only going to be in the oven a short time, I was concerned that the bottom of the focaccia wasn’t going to have a chance to brown. (Turns out this was correct – the bottom of the focaccia didn’t brown.) So, I lined the pan with parchment and oiled it. Because the pan was smaller than the one recommended, I cut off about 1/3 of the dough and put that in the freezer for some future pizza.
Final Stretch & Fold completed
After letting the dough rise, I moved it to the pan, spread Herb Oil on the top and dimpled it to spread it as much as it would. Hmm, not enough spread. I let it rest for 15 minutes, and eased it out some more. Repeated int another 15 minutes. It mostly work. The corners were a little sparse, but it was good enough. Added a bit more herb oil. All told, I probably used about 1/3 cup of the oil all together.
Letting the dough relax so it can be eased out to fill the pan.
After heating the oven, I popped the focaccia in there. The kitchen started smelling like a pizza joint a few minutes later! I baked the bread for about 20 minutes. wanted it to be nice and toasty on top. I had to hope that the bottom was going to toast. It didn’t. Oh well!
The baked Focaccia
The flavor was very good. The crumb was ok. I was hoping for a more open crumb, but I’ll blame that on the pan. Yeah, that sounds good! Pics are below.