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Categories Baking Clay Q's Focaccia Bread
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Clay Q's Focaccia Bread
Description:


Homemade bread is something of a lost art. My adaptation of focaccia bread is about eating well and sharing a delicious and wondrous food that is handmade and baked in a ceramic cooker. This is a rustic flat bread that is easy to make and delicious to eat. I guarantee you will be impressed.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups spring water
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups bread flour plus 1/2 cup bread flour for reserve
Instructions:

Makes one 12” round rustic loaf. Allow 9 hours.

Baking with ceramic cooker; Use indirect setup at 400 degrees dome.

Baking with kitchen oven; Set to 375 degrees.

To start, make a poolish;

  • 1 cup spring water room temp.
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • 1 cup bread flour.

Mix ingredients using a sturdy spoon in a large bowl until well blended. Cover and rest 2 hours at room temp.

Next make the dough by adding to the poolish;

  • 1 cup spring water room temp.
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast.
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons salt.
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs, no salt. (optional)
  • 1 cup bread flour.

Mix batter until well blended. Then add 2 Tablespoons light or virgin olive oil.

Mix again incorporating olive oil into batter. Then add 2-1/2 cups bread flour.

Mix until flour has just become wet (a few seconds) then rest 15 minutes.

Measure out;

1 cup bread flour. Dust a bread board or counter top with some of the flour. Turn out dough onto the dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes while dusting with just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Try not to add more than half the measured 1 cup of bread flour to keep the dough moist. The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky after fully kneaded. Form into a ball. Total amount of flour for finished dough should be 5 cups.

Grease a large bowl with a liberal amount of shortening. Place dough in the bowl and cover. Rest for 30 minutes at room temp.

Next is the stretch and fold procedure. First, wet hands with cool water so the dough will not stick to your fingers. Carefully pick up the soft dough and let one side slump downward out of your hands and when double in length from the stretch fold the dough onto itself. Make another stretch in the opposite direction then fold again and return dough to greased bowl. Cover and rest 30 min.

Perform the stretch and fold procedure a second time. Handle gently as there are beneficial gas bubbles forming within the dough. Cover and rest 30 min.

Prepare a 14” pizza pan with parchment paper that is cut to fit the pan.

Do the stretch and fold procedure one more time. Place dough in the center of pizza pan. Again, be careful to keep as much gas in the dough as you can. If the dough is not perfectly round when in the pan that’s ok, this is rustic bread. Brush a liberal amount of olive oil over entire surface of the dough. You may gently dimple the dough with oiled fingers to push into a round shape and help re-distribute gas bubbles. Proof dough 4 hours in a draft free place at room temp.(65-70 degrees F).

Start ceramic cooker one hour before you plan to bake. Stabilize temp. at 400 degrees with indirect heat as you would for baking a pizza. An indirect setup is made by placing the plate setter in ceramic cooker with legs up and setting the grid on top of legs then placing a pizza stone centered on the grid. If you have a preferred indirect setup, use it.

When baking with kitchen oven set temperature to 375 degrees with wire rack to support pizza pan.

Place pizza pan with proofed dough in ceramic cooker and bake about 30-40 minutes rotating pan after the first 15 minutes to prevent over baking one side from a potential hot spot. Bread is done when internal temp. reaches 200 degrees using your instant read thermometer.

If using a kitchen oven bake for about 25 min. The bread is done when internal temp. reaches 200 degrees.

Cool before slicing.

Enjoy one of life’s great pleasures!

Notes:

Homemade bread is something of a lost art. My adaptation of focaccia bread is not about convenience or speed, it’s about eating well and sharing a delicious and wondrous food that is handmade and baked in a ceramic cooker. Here are a few tips and explanations to help guide you.

I created this recipe for the ceramic cooker. If you decide to use a kitchen oven for baking I have included temperature and time adjustments to do so.

The unbleached bread flour I like is made by King Arthur Flour but other brands may substitute just as well. Be aware that bread flour is not the same as all-purpose flour.

When I make bread it is by the old fashion way, by hand. I use a sturdy wood spoon and an 11” glass mixing bowl and a large wood board to kneading the dough. Human power is always there at the ready and I feel I get better bread when using my hands. You may adapt this recipe to an electric stand mixer but results are not as good as by hand, in my opinion. Handling the dough during the stretch and fold is made much easier by first wetting the hands with cold water. The soft and sticky dough can be a little difficult to get used to, be patient. Go gently, let gravity slump the dough into a stretch before you fold in half. Experience will be your teacher. When you get the hang of it the stretch and fold will bring a few chuckles. Focaccia is perfect bread for additions. Dried herbs in the dough give extra flavors that make this bread stand out. Cheese is delicious melted on top of focaccia. I will shred a block of Fontina or Asiago cheese to make about a cup full and spread it out across the top of the bread during the last 7 minutes of baking. Think pizza when making focaccia. Fire roasted peppers, pizza seasoning, caramelized onions, nuts are all acceptable. Be creative! This is soft moist bread that’s great for anytime eating. Toasted and buttered, yummmm. Very good with BBQ’ed meats and grilled seafood, focaccia is also perfect as an appetizer for all occasions.
Number Of Servings:Source:
Vegetarian:NoTime To Prepare:
Date:Fri 08 Jun 2012 10:24:39 EDTViewed:1054 times
Author:Clay QEmail:
Rating:5,00 (2 votes)

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