Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Homemade Bread, My Top Tips, Part 1 - Foccacia

I have learned a thing or two about home bread making, both through glorious successes and horrific disasters. If you don't regularly make bread at home, you should try it sometime (see my 321 Dough post for a very easy and forgiving recipe, or my foccacia recipe which loves time to itself).  

Let the tips begin!
Foccacia dough is super sticky, needs very little yeast, and a lot of time to bubble up. Parchment paper is a MUST!
To get the golden crust, you need to rub olive oil all over the top until a thin layer coats the dough. Don't push down on dough that already has risen, you will lose your lift. Sprinkle kosher salt liberally - it increases flavor and crunch (but be careful if you are using table salt, a little goes a long way). 

Part 2 - Pizza Dough


Ashley said...

Linds, I finally bought my first roll of parchment paper. It says it's safe for up to 420F -- so what will happen if I stick it in the oven at 500? I'm making pizza pockets again today. Ray loved even the salty ones. :) Oh, and bought my Morton kosher salt... does it really only come in a 3lb. box??

lindsay said...

Hey Ashley! I am so happy your man liked the pizza balls/pockets, and that you are giving them another go. Yes, parchment paper can be in a 500 degree oven, but it will brown and get a little crumbly if it is exposed.

The high temperature cooks the dough relatively quickly, so the paper will last, but you wouldn't want it in there for more than 20 minutes at that temp, and keep it in the center of the oven so it doesn't touch the heating element. Thanks for the question and good luck!

lindsay said...

Oh, and yeah, the kosher salt does come in a big box, but that is pretty much the only salt I use in cooking and baking, so I go through it pretty quickly.