26 January 2012

Herb Oil Focaccia

There is only one word to describe this bread...Phenomenal. It's time consuming and labor intensive, but the outcome is SO very worth it!

Herb Oil Focaccia

(Recipe adapted  from Bread Baker's Apprentice and another blog...I can't remember which one sorry!, we've made minor usual)
5 cups White flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon instant yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups room temperature water
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup of herb oil (oil gently warmed with garlic and Herbs de Provence)
Stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the oil and water and knead with a dough hook for 5-7 minutes.  The dough with be smooth but fairly sticky. It will be sticking to the bottom of the bowl but should be clearing the sides of the mixing bowl.

Liberally sprinkle a surface with flour. Then flour your hands and transfer the dough to the floured surface. Dust liberally with flour and then pat into a large rectangle and let relax for five minutes.
Pulling on each end of the dough stretch it to twice its size and the then fold it like a letter to return it to the original rectangle size. Lightly brush with oil, sprinkle with flour, then cover with plastic wrap and let relax for 30 minutes

Stretch and fold again. Let relax 30 minutes

Stretch and fold again. Cover and let rise on the counter for 1 hour.

Line a baking pan with parchment or tinfoil. (We used two  9'' cake pans for our loaves)
Spread the pan with 1/4 cup of herb oil then transfer the dough and spoon another 1/4 cup of oil on top. Stretch the dough to fill the pan. If the dough keeps springing back and won't stretch let it relax for a few minutes before continuing.

Loosely cover with plastic wrap  and let rise overnight in the fridge

Remove the focaccia three hours before baking to allow it to come to room temperature and rise a bit more. Drizzle more oil on top (you can use all the remaining 1/4 cup if you like) and stretch the dough a bit further to completely fill the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 500 *Don't're not going to bake it at 500*

Three hours after removing the focaccia from the fridge place in the oven and TURN IT DOWN to 450.
Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 10 minutes. If you are adding cheese sprinkle it on now and then bake for a further five minutes. The bread should be golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to prevent the bread from over baking. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

We served with garlic butter and it was just mouth watering!  It also made amazing turkey sandwiches.

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