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Author Topic: The focaccia diaries  (Read 636 times)

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Offline Satyen

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The focaccia diaries
« on: October 13, 2017, 10:06:44 AM »
First attempt at the focaccia today and i can see this becoming a regular thing.

80% waitrose strong white bread flour
10% semolina
10% farina di grano verna tipo 2
75% hydration
1% active dry yeat
2.5% salt
2% evoo

Mixed all ingredients, rest 1 hr.
Stretch and fold, rest 1 hr.
Stretch and pan, rest 1 hr.


Offline Rolls

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 09:25:55 PM »
Nice looking focaccia Satyen.  Wish I could try a piece.  I've tried all sorts of focaccia recipes, which can be as varied as pizza recipes, and tend to favor the Genovese style, which contains a good amount of olive oil and requires multiple proofings before the focaccia is baked.


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Offline Satyen

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 09:27:39 AM »
Thank you. I have a lot to learn about this style. If you have any tips or recipes+workflow, i would really appreciate it.

One thing i realize is that the semolina gives it a bit if a chew, and im not sure if i liked that.

Offline Rolls

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 08:32:27 PM »
Thank you. I have a lot to learn about this style. If you have any tips or recipes+workflow, i would really appreciate it.

One thing i realize is that the semolina gives it a bit if a chew, and im not sure if i liked that.

Satyen,

If you're looking for a more tender focaccia, you might consider adding more oil to your dough recipe, as well as a browning agent, such as honey, sugar or malt. Adding fats to a dough make the final product more tender and the purpose of the sweetener, in this case, is to facilitate browning. Without the sweetener, you would have to bake the focaccia for a longer time, thereby increasing the risk of drying it out.

Here's what I do for focaccia genovese:

Flour 100%  (12- 13% protein content)
Water  63%
Olive Oil  5-6%
Salt 2%
Sweetener 1.5%
IDY 1.5%

Add all of the water to a large bowl, add the olive oil, yeast, sweetener and half the flour.  Mix everything with a large spoon until everything is combined and the flour is absorbed. You now have a thick batter.  Add the salt and gradually stir in the balance of the flour.  Knead the dough until you have a smooth, satiny, cohesive dough mass. Rough shape the dough into an oblong loaf and cover to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Let rest for about half an hour. Prepare your sheet pans ( I like to use an aluminum focaccia pan ) by greasing with your choice of olive oil, butter, lard, pan release etc. ( I use pan release ). Place dough mass on sheet pan without stretching it, brush surface with olive oil and let proof for an hour in the oven ( in the OFF position ) . After an hour the dough will have risen and become extensible enough to stretch evenly across the pan. At this point you can sprinkle some salt on the surface of the dough.  The salt adds flavor but, being hygroscopic, it also attracts moisture  to the surface of the dough, preventing skin formation.  Let the dough proof again in the oven for about 45 minutes.  Pour some warm water and more olive oil on the surface of the focaccia and smooth it over with your hand.  Now dimple the focaccia with your fingers creating depressions in the dough which will hold the water/oil mixture.  This will give you contrasting textures in the final product. If using toppings ( olives, tomatoes onions etc. ) apply them now and let the focaccia proof for a final time for about an hour or until it has risen sufficiently in the sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 F or until done. Cool on rack to prevent sogginess. You can give the hot focaccia a light brushing of olive oil for extra taste and sheen.

I know this may sound like a PITA process but it is far simpler to execute than what I have described. The rewards are worth the effort, I assure you.

I'll attach a youtube video for you which shows the basic steps. Unfortunately it's in Italian.


Rolls



Offline pizzarensen

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 02:56:46 AM »
For tenderness, oil should be added to salted water from the beginning. In this case, oil should be considered as % in hydration.

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Offline Satyen

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 03:04:52 AM »
Thank u rolls for the detailed guidance and pizzarensen abt the advice rgd oil. I will definately give this a shot soonly. My first reaction is surprise at the low hydration. From antlife's inspirational posts i was under the impression that hydration had to be around 75% or higher.

Offline pizzarensen

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 03:14:50 AM »
there are several types of focaccia. The standard recipe provides low hydration.

Offline Rolls

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2017, 07:53:12 AM »
Satyen,

Keep in mind that most of Antilife's posts are about pizza in teglia Romana, which is a different genre altogether and generally requires a higher hydration percentage and a much different workflow than focaccia. The texture of these two products is very different.

Pizzarensen is correct about adding the oil to the water before the flour is added, as noted in the recipe I posted as well as in the video. I believe this is done to create a "shortening" effect on the gluten strands. In focaccia genovese, additional oil is also added with water on top of the focaccia before the final proofing. Make sure this oil/water mixture doesn't seep around the edges to the bottom of the pan because you might have issues with sticking. Also, when you dimple the focaccia, you need a "firm" and "deliberate" touch, but not so aggressive that you pierce through the dough and allow the oil/water to reach the bottom of the pan.

I forgot to mention that you can also cold ferment the dough overnight after the mixing stage before proceeding to the subsequent steps.  This may help you better coordinate your bake.


Rolls
 

Offline Satyen

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Re: The focaccia diaries
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 02:59:24 PM »
100% organic bread flour
75% water
5% oil
2% salt

Followed advice by rolls and pizzarensen above, increased oil to 5%, added to the water before mixing in flour.

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