Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Blob...AKA, It's ALIVE!...AKA Foccacia

My latest every other day cooking pal is foccacia. It is funny how foods, breads especially, can come to life - like a little lovely pet...that you, well ok, anyways....My brain is fried from too much reading and thinking on subjects that are completly BORING! My mind wants to be so many other places...wanting to do so many other things. So, in the spirt of other-worldly-ness I present to you my special, amazing, beautiful foccacia recipe. The billowy dough, the air pockets and bubbles, crispy corners and salty olive oil crust...let's just get it over with. I am in love with this bread. I hope it finds a place in your kitchen hearts. 

2 1/4 lbs Flour - about 7 cups
3 1/2 cups warm water 
1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tablespoons coarse salt
olive oil
coarse salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the flour, yeast and warm water. Let sit covered with a dish towel in a warm place until tripled in size and bubbly - about 2 hours. 

2. Add the salt and attach the bowl to the mixer. Let mix us the dough hook for about 3-5 minutes on low speed, the raise the speed to medium and mix about 15 seconds more. 

3. Transfer the dough to a very big bowl - it will be wet, slack and sticky. Let rise another 1 hour. 

4. Take a rubber spatula and mix up the dough by hand about a minute or so, just to deflate. Let rise another hour. Meanwhile prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.  

5. Drop the wet, sticky, bubbly dough onto the prepared sheet and spread it out with the rubber spatula. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Let it sit on the pan unbaked for about 20-30 minutes to get those big bubbles...

6. Drizzle dough with olive oil and course salt to taste. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. 

7. Immediately slide focaccia onto a wire rack to cool. Slice with pizza wheel or serrated knife. 

Note: If you don't plan on eating it all the day it is baked, cut into pieces and freeze. It will be as good as fresh.


Trish Wallace said...

Unbelievably yummy looking...fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

this is the staple food in Liguria, so I have an idea of the blob you are talking about! I have witnessed its magic in family kitchens here, and also the funny sight of people walking around with hunks of focaccia as a snack or light lunch.

I love how crispy and golden your looks!