Baking Focaccia Julia Child’s Way…

October 17, 2012 § 5 Comments

The beautiful aroma of freshly baked bread is wafting through my entire house, as I am writing this post. The aroma of oregano leaves, olive oil and the flour is so intense, that it is almost compelling me to write about it right away.

The recipe I chose is simple, yet has deep flavors. I had been waiting to bake this bread since the day I got my copy of Baking With Julia. But sadly, I don’t get the active dry yeast so easily here in Gurgaon {probably would ask a friend to get some sachet from US}. Whatever I get in name of dry yeast is rubbish. Dough never rises, and with that the hopes to bake the bread sink more and more.

Thanks to Deeba of PassionateAboutBaking, a kind friend, who got me a small box of dry yeast from her own stock, when we last met during our Blogger’s Table visit at Crowne Plaza. That was a life savior and a ray of hope to bake my own bread soon. I know, I am being a bit dramatic here. But it really feels relieved to see the dough rising calmly sitting on the kitchen counter.

Since 2006, every October, thousand  of bakers across the world bake a bread to celebrate the World Bread Day. This was right in time. I got The Recipe, The Yeast and A special occasion. All set to move on. But sadly, I missed the train by one day {last minute urgency called for late stay at work}. This year it was on 16th of October. It was difficult to resist doing my part, even if I have missed the day. So here I am with my endeavor.

Ingredients

2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp salt
Toppings:
Herbs of your choice
Olive oil
Olives/Pickled peppers
Sea Salt, a big pinch

Instructions

  1. Whisk 1/2 cup of water and yeast in a bowl of mixer and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour 1 3/4 cup of water in a bowl and add olive oil and whisk to blend and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour and salt together and in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Pour the water oil mixture over yeast and stir to blend.
  5. Add flour in 2 steps and knead the dough for around 10 minutes until it starts to become elastic.
  6. Transfer the dough to work surface and form into a ball. Keep the dough ball in a well oiled big bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, around 1/2 hours.
  7. For the second rise, fold the dough and deflate on the work surface and let rise again again until doubled, for around 1 hour.
  8. Divide the dough into 3 smaller balls and  keep in separate zip locked, well oiled from inside plastic bags.
  9. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours.
  10. Once dough is ready, take out from the fridge, 1 1/2 hours before you want to bake the bread. Let rest at room temperature.
  11. Take each ball and flatten it using your hands, without making any hole in the center. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  12. Transfer the focaccias to baking trays, dusted with cornmeal or little flour.
  13. Using a sharp knife, slash squares or tic tac toe pattern on the dough. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with toppings.
  14. Bake the breads for 15 to 20 minutes in a 220 C preheated oven.
  15. Brush with olive oil, as soon as you take them out of oven. Transfer to cooling rack.
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§ 5 Responses to Baking Focaccia Julia Child’s Way…

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