OOoh baby. Focaccia reminds me of my Uncle Tony. My Uncle Tony used to make this fantastic deep dish pizza with focaccia dough. He'd put all of these roasted vegetables on top. Oh My Goodness it was good. I have a fairly large Italian family, and during family parties, we basically just talk about food the entire time. Like that not me exaggerating or trying to be funny. The ENTIRE time we talk about food - ie: what we are eating, what we want to eat, things we had the other day, etc. So if Uncle Tony's pizza happened to be one of the appetizers, it'd just be me and my cousins sitting outside and my Uncles rotating in and out of the sliding door saying to us "Hey you try Uncle Tony's pizza yet? Ridiculous, right!"
This recipe is a summary of a Whole Wheat Bread from Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. I recommend buying this book if you're really interested in bread. It tells you the WHY behind everything. There's only four ingredients, but there is so much more behind bread than we think. In addition to exact measurements of the ingredients themselves, hydration & temperature play a huge roll in a successful loaf of bread. Ken does a great job of painting a better picture for us regular people on what that means.
ingredients: (I use weigh for this recipe. I know it stinks, but it's so much more accurate)
750 grams (5 3/4 cups) whole wheat flour
250 grams (1 3/4 cups) flour
800 grams (3 1/2 cups) water (90-95 degrees F)
22 grams (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) sea salt
3 grams (3/4 teaspoon) yeast
With your hand, mix flours and water in a large bowl or large container (or 12 quart round tub if you have one) Cover with a kitchen towel (or lid) and let sit for 20/30 minutes
Sprinkle salt and yeast over the dough. Mix by hand into the dough, wetting your hand 4 times while mixing. Pull a quarter of the dough from the bottom and fold over the top. Do these 4 times until the salt and yeast are full incorporated into the dough.
After, use the "pincher" method. Take your pointer and thumb and make 5 pinches in the dough. It'll kind of look like a cute fat baby's arm. Then fold the dough over it self a couple times. Let rest for 30 seconds, and then fold again. It should tighten up a bit.
Cover the container/bowl/tub and let rise.
In the first 1 1/2 of rising - make three folds. To make a fold, take one hand like you're about to paddle somewhere and fold a quarter of the dough up on top of itself. Move counterclockwise around the bowl/tub until you've gone around the entire bowl. Let rest and when the dough comes to the sides of the bowl/tub/container again, repeat the process.
After making your 3 folds in the first hour, let the dough rest for another 4 hours covered with a kitchen towel/lid. (5 hours proof time, after first mixing the dough)
Once proofed, flour a work surface, and GENTLY wiggle the dough from the container/tub/bowl. This dough will make two doughs. Cut the dough in half, shape one half into a loaf if desired, and use the other half to make Focaccia. Olive oil up a cookie sheet, and form the other half of dough into a long rectangle. Place the dough into the pan and let proof 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (HOT)
Once the dough has proofed, now we dimple the dough. This is the fun part.
Drizzle olive oil all over the dough, and use your fingers to press into the dough. It shouldn't resist the pokes you make in the dough. If it is resisting, let sit for 10 minutes.
Once dimpled, you can now add whatever toppings you want. I did the tomatoes on the one below, sometimes I only do garlic, cheese. Sometimes pepper, sea salt & olive oil is perfect.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. If you're concerned about the bake, take it out of the oven and CAREFULLY (its so hot) cut into it to see if there's any raw dough inside.
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