Focaccia

Saturday’s pot luck dinner plans at my friend’s place didn’t quite turned out as planned.. So it ended up at my place instead. So long story short, instead of making just creme brulee as planned, i made eggs benedict and cream of mushroom soup on top of it. Hahahaha!

Focaccia needs to be refrigerated for at least 24 to 36 hours. So i started making the dough on friday, at 630am. I had class at 9am mind you. It was madness rushing through this. Haha!

Focaccia
Recipe from Baking with Julia

2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups tepid water (about 90F)
2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
6 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp salt

Whisk 1/2 cup water and yeast together in the bowl of your mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Pour 1 3/4 cups of warm water into a measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl.

Pour the water-oil misture over the yeast mixture and whisk to blend.

Add half of the flour and stir with a spatula just to mix.

Attach the hook, add the remaining flour and mix on low for 3 mins.

I’ve never seen such a stretchy dough before! It climbed the dough hook really quickly. If you look carefully, it’s climbing OVER my hook attachment. If i didn’t stop it in time, i reckon it would’ve gobbled my dear KA. LOL.

Anyway, you can increase the speed to medium high and mix for about 10 mins. That’s according to the book. But i was so annoyed because the dough kept climbing so fast! So i kneaded by hand instead.

Got a round stretchy dough.

Do your ‘window’ test. It should stretch so well that you can see through it without breaking it. If it breaks, continue kneading until it passes this test. I swear i could’ve gotten a better picture for you guys.. But.. Consider this. It was 630 in the morning. I had to take the photo on my own.. So with my left hand i was doing the window and with my right, struggling to take a picture! Moving right along..

Cover the dough with oil and place it in a bowl to rise. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 1.5 hours until doubled in size. Note: I left it to rise for an hour because i had to rush everything for class at 9am 😛

After the first rise, this was what i got.

Now fold the dough down on itself to deflate it, cover and let rise again for 45 mins to an hour.

Deflated..

And rise again!

Fold over again to deflate. You’d be able to hear the air bubbles squeak and pop!

Turn out onto a floured surface. Check out those air bubbles!

Split the dough into 3.

Place them into well-oiled ziplock bags and refrigerate for at least 24 to 36 hours. By this time, it was 845 and i grabbed my bag and drove to school. I reached at 9am on the dot! So proud of myself Hahahaha!

After 24 hours..

Quite amazed at the very soft and sponge looking dough! Remove from bags and place onto a floured surface.

Loosely but completely wrap in cling wrap and let rest for an hour at room temperature for 1 hour, until the dough reaches a cool room temperature and feels spongy when prodded.

Recipe asked to line your baking stone (sadly i don’t have one) or parchment paper with cornmeal. But i didn’t use cornmeal cos i didn’t have any 😦

Gently press on the dough so that the air bubbles go to the sides. Slit the sides to release the air. Then stretch each dough to about 10 x 10 inches. Be careful with it because you wouldn’t want your air bubbles that you’ve been working so hard for to go away.

I used a pizza cutter and slit a tic-tac-toe pattern on it. Let it relax for about 10 mins. Then brush with olive oil and your favourite herbs.

Bake at 450F for 20 mins. Prepare a spray bottle of water. During the first 8 minutes of baking, spray the oven with water 3 times. Not sure why.. But i just followed instructions anyway! Heh, lots of work to this baby. But the results are awesome.

When baked, remove and brush on more olive oil and herbs. Smells wonderful at this point.

Nice fragrant and golden brown. Best eaten on the day its baked. Better right out of the oven.

Quite some bread if you ask me!

Loving the air bubbles! So pretty, hehe.

Poached a couple of eggs..

Some ham and hollandaise sauce..

Eggs Benedict. Made by me 😀

Was so proud of myself hahaha.

Along with the cream of mushroom soup i made. And the chicken stew my friend brought along.

And of course, the creme brulee torched on the spot 🙂

Ahh, a really really long post. Hope that makes up for the looong time that i haven’t been blogging. Maybe i should do a post on poached eggs and the hollandaise sauce!

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32 thoughts on “Focaccia

  1. You’re really something! To bake and cook AND take step-by-step photos, and then go to class … I’m totally impressed! You have every right to be proud of yourself. I’M proud of you! I must get my daughter to read this post, never mind that she’s only 11. Let’s just say I am giving her ample notice! 😉

    • thank you ju! hehe.
      ah it was crazy rushing everything!
      but i just had to take the process to share!
      my passion for baking started when i was 11 in fact.
      during my holidays when i was primary 5 i baked from a book my uncle got me.
      if your daughter ever sees this, hello little ju! 🙂

  2. i’ve often wondered how focaccia is made–i had no idea it was so straightforward and doable! excellent photo tutorial, and magnificent eggs benedict!

    • straightforward indeed.
      just very time and energy consuming.
      needed quite some planning to bake on time.
      heh thank you very much grace 🙂

    • absolutely love eggs ben. always have mine at coffee bean.
      but you wont know the real deal until you make it yourself 🙂

    • awww thanks lorraine for the compliment 😉
      focaccia makes great pizza dough too.
      the climbing of the dough is crazy! heh.

  3. this looks good! and yes, pls do a post on the poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. my poached eggs never turn out very well and i was just asking a friend for a simple recipe for the sauce, but his was kinda not. so i’ll be looking forward to it. 🙂

  4. I saw your title, and I literally exclaimed “Felicia!” excitedly, instead of focaccia ~haha! I’m a HUGE focaccia fan, and those air pockets, my dear, definitely spells perfection in my books 😀 What herbs did you top the bread with?

    • hahaha! you’re so funny dear.
      yes i love focaccia too! you could try this recipe, its really good.
      i used thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano! 🙂
      all blended together. heh.

  5. oh man those photo’s of the dough are amazing! quite a lot of hard work put into making foccacia if you ask me- i think ill stick to buying them from the bakery :O)

  6. You know what I loveeee about foccacia? It’s the ones with the little dimples in them coz they soak up all the goodness of whatever’s on top! mmm, I imagine they would’ve been perfect holders for all that runny delicious yolk.

  7. I am so impressed! And I love your photos- it makes things so much simpler when you can see each step. I love foccacia- this actually looks like something I can make. Really like using it panini but your idea for eggs benedict is fabulous.
    Kudos!

    • heh thanks barbara! i usually try to take step-by-step photos.
      because i know my readers enjoy it. glad you do too.
      ah yes paninis awesome for breakfasts!

  8. Looks very nice! Love your step-by-step photos. Very useful to a novice like me. Will try to bake foccacia one day. Like you, I’m also rushing like mad on those days I need to cook, shot for my post and rush to fetch my son.

  9. Your focaccia looks yummy – I love the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven and the taste after – nothing beats it! Oh well – maybe except your eggs benedict!

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