Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done. Galatians 6:4

Sunday, January 04, 2009

King Arthur has to be one of my favorite places about living in New England. Once you walk through their open doors ... it's like you're stepping in to a whole new world... even if you don't bake/cook something will draw you in.. if it's not the fresh baked goods.. it could be the huge cookie cutters or even the gigantic chocolate chips that you're dreaming about biting into!

When their catalog comes to me.. I paw through it to try and bake something from their recipes inside of their catalog. I'll be honest.. NOT all the recipes draw me in.. but there is always one that catches my eye.

Golden Focaccia was one of them. I see these breads in the grocery store ALL the time.. and dream of eating one... once I catch a look at the price I usually end up putting it back and declining the offer. After making one of these breads this weekend ( yes weekend)... I realized that maybe those prices aren't so obnoxious after all.

I do want to make mention that I think the instructions for this recipe were some what poorly written... someone like myself who bakes/cooks all the time had me scratching my head at one part... and as I sat there and wondered.. I went with my instincts on what to do. *** I added my own pictures to show you what I did a bit different.


I left this overnight... those black "specks" are actually air bubbles

Starter

* 1/2 cup cool water
* 1/16 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
* 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose


I threw the dough in the bread machine so I could walk away and do other things... The recipe tells you that you can do this.. HOWEVER.. it doesn't tell you if the first rise in the machine is "actually" your first rise of a two hour period.. So I made it so...

This is me poking it to have it deflate for the second rise...

This is the dough in a lightly greased bowl.. I let rise one more hour....
Dough

* 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1/2 cup lukewarm water*
* all of the starter (above)
* 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* *Use 1 tablespoon less in summer (or in a humid environment), 1 tablespoon more in winter (or in a dry climate).

Topping

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Here.. I rolled it out and had to let it rise YET.. again...for about 2 more hours....


After the 2 or so hours.. I had to "dimple" the bread... I wasn't impressed with the "crusty" appearance of the dough... but in the end... it really didn't matter.....
Directions

1) To make the starter: Mix the water and 1/16 teaspoon yeast, then add the flour, stirring till the flour is incorporated. The starter will be paste-like; it won't form a ball.

2) Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; the starter will be bubbly. If you make this in the late afternoon, it'll be ready to go by the next morning.

3) To make the dough: If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

4) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to make a soft, smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed.

5) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.

6) Gently deflate it, and allow it to rise for another hour; it should have doubled in bulk from its original volume.

7) Lightly grease an 18" x 13" baking sheet with a rim (or two 9" x 13" pans) with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Drizzle olive oil atop the spray; the spray keeps the bread from sticking, while the olive oil gives the bottom crust great crunch and flavor.

8) If you're using the baking sheet, gently pull and shape the dough into a rough rectangle, and pat it into the pan. As soon as it begins to fight you and shrink back, stop patting. If you're using two 9" x 13" pans, divide the dough in half, shape each half into a rough rectangle, and pat one piece into each pan. When the pieces start to shrink back, stop patting. Wait 15 minutes; pat the dough farther towards the edges of the pan(s). Repeat once more, if necessary, till the dough is close to covering the bottom of the pan(s).

9) Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rise till it's very puffy, almost billowy. This will take about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

10) Gently dimple the dough at irregular intervals with your fingers, pressing down firmly, but not abruptly; you don't want to deflate it too much.

11) Spritz heavily with warm water, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to collect a bit in the dimples), then sprinkle with rosemary (or the herb of your choice), black pepper, and a bit of coarse salt, to taste.

12) Bake the focaccia for about 10 minutes. Reverse the pan(s) in the oven (top pan on the bottom, bottom pan on the top), and bake until the focaccia is light golden brown, about another 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Here was my final result....

My final thought.. this is definitely a bread that needs to be dipped in a flavored oil ( As king arthur recommends)... or it will be a NICE compliment to a green salad! I took it out of the oven about 30 minutes ago and before I sat to blog... half of it was already gone....with thumbs up!!
So if you have a whole weekend to dedicate to make this flat bread... go ahead and give it a whirl...

11 comments:

Kerry McKibbins said...

Oooh, looks yummy.
My family makes foccacia, haven't made it in a long time. Think I'll do it next weekend and put it on my blog. You'll have to give it a try!

Amanda J said...

Hey, thanks for your comment about me giving up caffiene. It has been hard but not as hard as I thought. I love your blog, it is great. I noticed that we have a lot of the same interests. I love being home also and I also love to clean. Funny, isn't it?

Sandy said...

Glad to know I am not the only one who loves when the King Arthur catalog arrives. I have to say it is one well read catalog in this house. One day I will make it to their store! Your bread looks wonderful!

Carrie said...

bread I love bread!

Tracy said...

came across your blog so wanted to say hi! your bread looked yummy! hope you have a good week. hugs

Mere said...

That looks AMAZING!! Your fabulous recipes ALWAYS make me hungry!

Love, Mere

glitzen said...

Boy, good thing you have these nice pictures for me to look at because I will NEVER see one of these in my kitchen. LOL. Its simply beautiful when done though!

Lisa said...

Happy new Year! The bread looks delicious.

Our Red House said...

Your foccacia looks fabulous. I have never made foccacia.

Y'know, in Australia we call flip flops thongs, and what you call a thong we call a g-string. I can see that some cross-cultural confusion could occur!

Thanks for visiting my blog and saying g'day.

Kate

pooky225 said...

This looks so nice, might have to give it a go!!!

Miss French Jessica said...

That looks so good! I've eaten foccacia, but never made it. Maybe one weekend when I don't have a million things to do, I'll give it a try. I'm going to copy the recipe to keep on hand! Thanks for the visuals, too. From someone who can't make bread dough to save her life, these are very helpful!