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joesan

Delicious Focaccia

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I can make, by my own admission :biggrin: , perfect sourdough, fantastic baguettes, delicious pizza (even approved by native neapolitans) but I cannot, even after multiple tries, make an acceptable focaccia.

Mine always ends up overly dry or too oily. I've tried, as advised by some to use a pizza dough but this ends up too thin and crispy. Others end up as simply like a thin slab of bread.

What I am looking for is a soft, delicate but slightly chewy bite with lots of open holes. The focaccia should be lightly but perceptibly oily, nicely salty and with a hints of rosemary or oregano in the topping. The focaccia should also have nice rise and be thick not thin like an unadorned pizza base.

So come on egulleteers help me out and let's see those attempts for the perfect focaccia recipe!

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My favorite recipe comes from "No Need to Knead" by Suzanne Dunaway. You just stir it all up, let it rise and plop it in the pan. It's a very loose, sticky dough. I always make it thin but I suppose if you used a smaller pan it would come out thicker.

Potato in the dough makes a nice think foccacia.


I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Thanks Basilgirl! I am off to Books for Cooks tomorrow to purchase that one and give it a try.

Does it give a nice soft focaccia?

Any more out there?

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Thanks Basilgirl! I am off to Books for Cooks tomorrow to purchase that one and give it a try.

Does it give a nice soft focaccia?

Any more out there?

Well, it's a nice chewy foccacia...but I imagine that it would be softer if it were thicker - I spread it out on my biggest pan and put BIG holes in it, almost like a fougasse...

I like that book very much, but please peruse it before you purchase it on my recommendation! Because it sounds from your first post that you are a much much better baker than I!


I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Because it sounds from your first post that you are a much much better baker than I!

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I love focaccia and have searched for a while for a good recipe. I have fallen in love with Jack Bishop's high rise focaccia from his "The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook". This is a thick and soft focaccia and includes the addition of one potato and is very simple to make.

The book also has a lot of other great recipes as well. :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Torakris - thanks for the recommendation, another one for me to check out at the bookstore tomorrow.

The way you describe it sounds very close to what I want to achieve.

The name of the book struck a bell so I went to my cookbook library. However turned out to be another book called Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Emanuela Stucchi. There must be many books with that title.

Funnily enough one time I had a particularly nice focaccia at the Caffe Idee in Tokyo of all places. It was served with a nice Parma Ham scattered with freshly picked oregano. Yummy...

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As you seem to be extremely experienced have you tried just using a ciabatta recipe drizzled with a good oil and prodded and baked in a flat pan. I've seen acceptable results using this and the dough seems to be the same.


Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!

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PCD - I hadn't thought of that, sounds worth a try. I think I'll be having a busy weekend baking.

Thanks for the hint.

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If you're wanting a nice soft focaccia, there's a good recipe for one with potatoes in the dough in Carol Field's focaccia book. There are lots of good recipes in this book, but the one with potatoes in and peppers on top stands out in my memory as particularly soft and moist.

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I've had good luck with the foccacia recipe in baking with julia. I think the key to a good foccacia is an overnight rest in the fridge. The one mentioned upthread by torakris has an overnight rest. I read that same recipe in an older issue of fine cooking magazine.

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At home (not at work, I have a massive recipe for that), I use this Tyler Florence recipe.

I love the texture and crumb of this bread - but I skip the onions and olives, and just use the cheese and rosemary.


Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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I've always liked the recipes in the Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli - excellent focaccias from an excellent baker.

Peter Reinhart also has a great focaccia recipe in Crust & Crumb, and I seem to recall an article all about focaccia by Reinhart in a recent issue of Fine Cooking (can't remember the date though).


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I've had good luck with the foccacia recipe in baking with julia.  I think the key to a good foccacia is an overnight rest in the fridge. 

I like this recipe too. The overnight rest does make a big difference. The grilled veggie focaccia sandwich at the end of the recipe is excellent. Try the leaf shaped fougasse using the same focaccia dough (from Baking with Julia as well).

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In the "Fat" episode of Samin Nosrat's Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid Heat, a Ligurian baker is shown making a delicious looking focaccia that involved pouring a salt/water brine over the shaped dough and letting it proof for 45 min with the brine before baking. A recipe is posted on the show's website here, and credited to Josey Baker.  Although the method is somewhat different from what was done on the show, it does use the brine step.  I tried it anyway and the crust was indeed very crispy and delicious as promised on the show.

Edited to add that the online recipe calls for 2T salt.  I used 1T by mistake as it's what my usual recipe calls for but it turned out to be plenty.  With the brine and a sprinkle of salt before baking, I think 2T would be too much.

The recipe certainly does use an abundance of olive oil: 10 - 12T for this 1/2 sheet pan 

IMG_9333.thumb.jpg.572740683a01fa94ce62cc3c9300fc53.jpg

 

The crumb:

IMG_9336.thumb.jpg.6954d8a1741e378087510d644f751baa.jpg


Edited by blue_dolphin to add note about salt (log)
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14 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

@blue_dolphin Is it a bit like soft pretzels?

 

When it was warm, the crust was more crispy than the chewy crust that I associate with soft pretzels, though I may never have tried the best soft pretzel examples. 

It reminded me a little of the crust on the nan-e-barbari that is painted with a flour/sugar/oil/water glaze before baking


Edited by blue_dolphin correcting autocorrect (log)
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