Focaccia bread フォッカッチア

japanese cake

This is a variation of my focaccia bread. Although this is a bit too thick to make sandwiches, it is much better as eating bread dipped in olive oil.

We like this particular Spanish olive oil. It has quite robust flavors. We recently got a newer pressing (for 2017).

This is not a recipe but a note to myself for future reference. I made this bread to reuse (rescue) the sponge (or starter or biga) my wife was attempting to make for her Panettone bread.  My wife started the “biga” as per the recipe she found on line (200 grams or 1 3/4 cup of flour, 125 grams or a bit more than 1/2 cup of buttermilk, a small pinch of yeast, mixed together and let to stand at room temperature for 12-16 hours or until the volume doubles).

It looked quite dry for sponge and she was afraid she had not followed the recipe precisely. So she prepared another batch which also looked quite dry for sponge. In any case, she did make Panettone using the second sponge which was successful. So, we had the first sponge left over. Rather than throwing it out, I decided  I would make a focaccia bread using this sponge.  Since the sponge was rather dry, I added more water and kneaded and left it in a Ziplock bag for several more hours (it was made 2 days ago). It started looking more like sponge. Since the sponge had 1 3/4 cup of flour, I added 2 more cups of bread flour, one package of yeast (proofed in a small amount of lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar) and about 1 cup of water (I added a bit more until a proper dough formed). I kneaded it in a mixer with a dough hook for 10 minutes.

I decide to let it rise three times. I finished kneading by hand to make a tight ball. In a large bowl, I added a small amount of olive oil and placed in the dough ball and turned to coat. I covered it with a plastic wrap and towel and let it rise for 1 hour or until the volume doubled. I punched it down and let it rise for the second time. After the volume doubled again, I punched it down and let it rest for 10 minutes on the board (to relax the gluten). Then, I spread the dough onto a 1/4 sheet non-stick baking sheet. I let it rise for the 3rd and last time for 30 minutes. I then, pressed the dough with my finger tips to make multiple indents. I brushed on chopped fresh rosemary soaked in olive oil and scatted oil cured black olive (after the stones were removed) and pushed them into the dough (see below).

I  baked it at a lower temperature than usual, at 350F for 30 minutes.

The focaccia came out less crusty and much thicker and bread-like in the center. This was one of the items in our bake-a-thon shown below. One weekend, we made Stollen (far left), English muffin bread (Upper middle), Panetonne (Upper right), White bread (Lower right) and my focaccia (center).

You may have notice both edges of the focaccia were already cut off for the tasting. We really liked the texture and flavor of the focaccia made this way.

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