Monday, August 10, 2009

focaccia - bread baker's apprentice challenge #13

BBA Challenge 13 brings us focaccia. A typical, although heavier, flatbread, commonly adorned with herbs and lots of olive. Peter gives us two versions; one that you put together and rest overnight in the fridge and one started with a poolish. Feeling the need to knead (hahah), I opted for version one.

As I was busy flipping the page, I noticed Peter has a side note about using raisins, and that's all it took to seduce me away from making herb oil. Now, it sounds from reading fellow BBAC baker's blogs that the herb oil is a fantastic item, so I'll be sure to go back and try this again.

As I was incorporating the raisins, I started to wonder if I could just bake it off right away instead of waiting over night. This dough just seemed too darn good to wait, at least more than necessary. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of retarding dough for extra flavour, but I figured the 3 cups of raisins would be stealing a lot of the show.

So once I was done letter-folding my dough and resting, I prepped it like it was coming from the fridge and let it rise for a few hours on the counter. Into the oven, I let it bake for 10 minutes before sprinkling on some fine sugar and letting it bake up to 200 degrees.

I waited the suggested 20 minutes before cutting myself a chunk and couldn't have been happier. The olive oil, sugar, and raisins all combined with a silky soft dough to create a little piece of heaven. It was a hit with my three taste tasters, and worked perfectly with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Somehow I don't think a savory version would be that good with oatmeal!

On to French Bread! Oh and be sure to check out fellow BBAC participants; you're bound to encounter a few mouth watering pictures.


Sharon said...

Looks delish! I'm used to my focaccia bread as savoury only - glad to hear it was extra special with raisins!

Sarah said...

This was fantastic. But I want to try the savoury version as well - since I dig the savoury more than the sweet as a general rule. :) As usual, nicely done Christopher!

Chris said...

Sharon, while I've heard of people topping their focaccia with everything (even turning them into pizza bases), I'd never imagined a sweet version until I saw Peter's sidebar. It turned out great, and the olive oil enriched dough works like a charm.

Thanks Sarah. Glad you liked it. I'll make the savory version soon.

ATigerInTheKitchen said...

Wow...looks wonderful! You're making me want to try this version. I loved my herbed version but all that olive oil sure gave my oven a workout. (Smoke everywhere!)

Congrats on your lovely bread ...

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