What it was intended for an after school snack for my young adorably cute nephews, became a favorite for my entire family. So, this recipe is a keeper. Will sure to make it from time to time. I made this focaccia twice in a row, as it was disappear rather quickly I must tell you. The one you see above, I made it last night, has simple topping, no more then just olives and rosemary. I give the dough final rise after being filled for 50 minutes, 20 minutes more then the original recipe suggested. As a result, evenly open crumbs, with spongy, chewy texture, and nicely crispy topping (no kidding! you can hear a loud crunch as you bite into it). It was an instant hit!
Nancy Silverton's Focaccia
Recipe adapted from LATimes
makes two 9-inch focaccia
1/16 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread flour
1¼ cups water
1 tbs olive oil
1¾ tsp dry yeast
2 tbs + 3/4 tsp rye flour
3⅔ cups bread flour
3/4 tbs kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil for the pans, divided
A little more olive oil for brushing the dough, and brushing baked focaccia
The night prior to, or up to a day in advance make the sponge. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap, ferment at room temperature for 12 - 24 hours.
The following day, mix together water, olive oil, and focaccia sponge in a mixer bowl. Add dry yeast, rye flour, and bread flour. Knead using a dough hook attachment on a low speed for 2 minutes. Add salt, increase the speed to speed #2. Continue to knead for 10 to 20 minutes until the dough is smooth, and start to pull away from the side of the bowl, but not so much that it 'cleans' the bowl. Remove the dough and place it into oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave the dough in a warm room temperature for 1½ hours.
After 1½ hours, uncover the bowl, fold the dough into itself, cover it again, let rest rest for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the dough is double in volume (the dough will not collapse and feel resistance when touch with your finger)
Prepare two 10-inch cake pan, pour a 1/4 olive oil on each pan, swirl it around to evenly coated the bottom of the pans.
Turn the dough over into lightly floured counter top, and divide it into 2 equal portions. Carefully transfer each portion into prepared cake pans, then gently stretch the dough to form a roughly round shape. Cover the dough with clean dish towel to relax for 30 minutes.
If you are planning to bake them with topping, now is the time to prepare the ingredients. You can practically use any kind of topping you like, or use sample combination like the one I prepare below.
Here is what to do:
Push mozzarella deeply into the dough outward toward the edge, continue to work in circular motion until you use up all mozzarella. Do the same with olives and rosemary, brush generously with olive oil, and sprinkle in sea salt. Cover the bowl with clean dish towel. Repeat with the second pan in the same manner. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until the dough is risen and puffed around the topping.
If you don't use topping, after the dough is relaxed for 30 minutes, remove dish towels from the pans. Gently press down (deeply, but not too deep so it will tear the dough) the dough using your fingertips in various places (to get that dimply surface focaccia's characteristic has), at the same time pushing it toward the edge of the pan. When you are done, cover the pans with clean dish towels, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until the dough in the pans are once again risen.
Preheat oven to 450℉.
Place pans in the middle rack oven, reduce oven temperature to 400℉. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, immediately remove the focaccia from the pans and transfer into wire rack. If you wait too long, focaccia will be stuck and difficult to get it out. Brush once more with olive oil. Let focaccia cool a little bit before serving.
The pictures you see below are the first focaccia I made using different kind of topping. I got interrupted and distracted in the middle of making it, and I missed read the recipe part that stated I had to give the dough final rise after filled with topping (see the first photo above to compare when it gets final rise), instead, the dough went straight into the oven. What I got was, more tight crumbs, and pillowy bread, but boys, it was really delicious! So, you can actually bake it as soon as you finish to fill them with topping, but the result will be like the pictures below, or you can give it final rise 30 to 50 minutes, and the result will be more open crumbs like the first picture above. To me, both are superb! More importantly, my family, especially 2 my young nephews love it so much.
Topping combination: Olives and Rosemary topping:
3 oz low moisture mozzarella (I used 4 oz), cubed
40 mixed pitted green and black olives
20 tufts fresh rosemary
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Grape tomatoes, mixed herbs Topping:
3 oz low moisture mozzarella, cubed
50 grape tomatoes
3 sprigs lemon thyme
3 sprigs French thyme
8 tufts fresh marjoram
Sea salt, for sprinkling