Focaccia

Focaccia

 

.Makes two 10″ round  focaccia.

The day before, make the sponge. Mix together in a mixer bowl:

1/2 cup bread flour

1/2 cup warm water

1/16 tsp active dry yeast

It will have the consistency of pancake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 12 – 24 hours at room temperature, until nice and bubbly.

To make the dough, mix into the sponge:

1 1/4 cups warm water

1 tbsp olive oil

Stir to combine, then add:

3 2/3 cups bread flour

2 tbsp + 3/4 tsp rye flour

1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

Mix with a dough hook on low speed for about 2 minutes until you get a sticky mass.

Add:

3/4 tbsp kosher salt

Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and well-formed, about 8 – 10 minutes. It should be too sticky to “clean the bowl”, but it should be pulling away from the sides.

Put the dough in an olive oiled-bowl and cover it tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap. Place it in a warm spot to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, stretch and fold the dough in all four directions . Cover and let rise again until double, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Prepare two 10″ round  by pouring 1/4 cup olive oil into each and swirling it around to cover the bottom and sides. Divide the dough in half (each should weigh about 1 lb) and gently stretch and press each one into the bottom of the pans. Dip your fingertips into the oil to cover the bread with oil as you shape it. Cover the pans with a tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Once rested, it’s time for toppings. For each focaccia, use:

1 ball of bocconcini, cubed and pressed between paper towels to remove excess moisture

10 black kalamata olives, whole, and 5 large green olives, halved

a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs

 

Press the mozzarella deeply into the dough, starting in the middle and working in circles out to the edge, pressing the dough out towards the edges of the pan as you go. Repeat with the olives and then poke the rosemary sprigs into the dough/scatter leaves on top. Sprinkle with a scant 1/2 tsp of large flake sea salt .

Cover the pans with a tea towel and let rest for another 3o minutes, until the dough has risen up around the toppings.

While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 450˚F. Place the risen dough in the oven and turn it down to 400˚F. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Remove the focaccia from the pans immediately and place on a rack. Brush/dab with more olive oil and let it cool slightly before cutting into wedges and devouring.

This focaccia is best eaten fresh, but you can warm it in the oven or toaster to crisp it up a day or so after baking.