|Pepper and onion focaccia|
I made this, intending for two meals. That was my plan. Imagine to my surprise when the three of us actually managed to wolf down almost 300g of flour in one sitting. It was a good omen for my first attempt, and I already have plans for more focaccia, seeing the popularity of this Italian bread.
Somewhere along the line, I did not stipple the dough enough and the focaccia wasn't as dimpled as I would like it to be. OK, actually, it totally lost all the dimples and I sort of gave up the stippling. Apart from this minor oversight, everything about it was great - from the thin crust to its moist center. Eaten with a hearty bowl of rendang, it makes staying in on a weekend a very sensible decision.
90g bread flour
Pinch instant yeast
Final dough :
21g olive oil
2g malt syrup
284g bread flour
1g instant yeast
Shredded onions, peppers, sea flakes
Preparing the biga :
The night before , mix flour and yeast separately then add water ( biga ingredients ) and knead for 5 minutes. Dough will be stiff and slightly dry. Put in an oiled bowl, covered, to double in size. Chill for 2 hours then remove from chiller. Leave it to ferment overnight for 12 hours.
Making the final dough, 12 hours later :
In a medium bowl, combine flour and yeast. Set aside.
Under the final dough ingredients, combine water,biga,oil and syrup. Break up the biga by hand to small bits.
Add flour-yeast mix to biga liquid. Knead for 3 minutes by hand, add salt and knead for another 2 minutes. The dough will appear shaggy.
Transfer dough to oiled bowl , covered, and leave to ferment for 60 minutes.
On a floured worktop, transfer risen dough and fold into thirds. Cover, in situ, for 10 minutes.
Using a bread scrapper, divide dough into halves. Fold each half into thirds. Oil dough by hand and keep dough seam side down.
Rest 10 minutes again, covered.
Oil 2 baking trays and transfer the 2 pieces of dough to each tray. Use a scrapper to transfer the dough for ease of handling.
Using oiled fingers, stipple the dough, spreading it to make a rectangle.
Leave to ferment, 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250 C.
Meanwhile, julienne onions and peppers.
Just before baking, mist spray dough. Stipple it one more time, with oiled fingers. This helps prevent the focaccia from puffing too much.
Spread garnish evenly.
Reduce temperature to 230C.
Bake focaccia at 230C for 20 minutes. Do not overbake.
Serve with spicy beef stew and garden salad, to make your masterpiece complete.