Kitchen Quarantine; Focaccia

This recipe is super easy for a first time bread maker and there's no long ferments. Start it in the afternoon and you'll be eating fresh baked bread with whatever you are putting on the table for dinner.


Just a quick note before we start. This recipe is in Metric (grams)... I write my recipes in metric because they are easier to scale (increase or decrease portion size) and easier to give to people to be re-created. With the use of a digital scale, 125g is always 125g. I recommend to anyone who is serious about cooking that you buy yourself a digital scale that measures in grams.


Ok, so now that we got that out of the way....


Combine the honey with the water and add the yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast and honey. This mixture should froth up a bit during this process.


Next add the flour and mix well. This mixture is going to be a very wet dough (in this case it's called a sponge). Cover sponge and set on the counter for 10-15 minutes or until it gets bubbly and frothy looking.



Meanwhile, mix together the olive oil, black pepper, garlic (which should be minced) and rosemary (which also should be minced)


Add 50% of the oil mixture (55g) to the frothy sponge.


Transfer that sponge to the bowl of an electric mixer (or grab a big wooden spoon and you could easily do this by hand) .. either way you are going to take 240g of flour and the 10g salt and mix it into the sponge.


If you are doing this in a mixer (with the dough hook attachment) let the mixer run for about 3-5 minutes, adding a little flour as required to get the dough to proper consistency.


This is what you want your dough to start to look like. It should start to peel itself from the side of the bowl.


When it gets to this stage take it out of the bowl and knead on the counter with a little more flour until it is tacky but not sticky, but not dry.



Then you are going to take the dough and transfer it to a floured bowl and let it rise for 2-3 hours. The warmer it is, the faster it will rise. You want it to double in size.


After a couple hours... Look how nice and supple that dough is.

Next you want to take the dough and transfer it to a sheet pan for its final rise. I never use a rolling pin on this. I like the air bubbles and inconsistency that comes from hand stretching. So what I do instead is pick it up and hand stretch it to a point, then kind of poke it down with my hands (almost the way a cat would knead a blanket), until the dough is stretched and placed.


Let it rise again.. about 20-30 minutes or until about double in size.


After the dough proofs up again, you want to brush it with the remaining olive oil.


And top it with tomatoes.


Then put it into the oven and bake it for 17-22 minutes. I like to bake 18 minutes, then I turn the oven off and let it sit in there for another 5min.


OHHH Baby! I wish you guys could smell this one!


**PRO TIP** I really like to bake this on a pizza stone. It makes the crust super nice and crusty with all the oil that's in the recipe.


I've been homeschooling the kids while I wrote this blog. We are all in this together you guys! Leave some comments or get at me on our social media. We want to hear your stories of cooking during lock down. How can we help you get through it?


Eat Well!

Justin West, Chief of Culinary Operations - Pure Joy Catering


Focaccia Bread


For the Sponge

235g Warm Water

6g Dry Yeast

10g Honey

150g AP Flour


For the Oil Mixture

10g Garlic, Minced

3g Rosemary, Minced

1g Black Pepper

100g Olive Oil


The Rest of it

240g AP Flour

10g Salt


METHOD

1. Combine warm water, yeast & honey. Mix to dissolve yeast and allow to sit for 5 minutes until it gets frothty

2. Add 150g of flour and mix well. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes until frothy.

3. Add 50% of the oil mixture (about 55g) and transfer to bowl of electric mixer set with the dough hook.

4. Start the mixer on low and add the remaining 240g Flour and the Salt. Mix well until the dough starts to peel itself from the inside of the bowl.

5. Transfer to the counter and knead with another 5g of flour until the dough isn't wet anymore. It shouldn't be dry. You want it just a little bit tacky.

6. Transfer to a floured bowl and allow to rise for 2-3 hours or until about double in size.

7. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F

8. Stretch the risen dough onto a sheet pan and allow to proof again.. 20-30 minutes.

9. Once proofed, top with remaining oil mixture and tomato slices and bake for 17-22 minutes.




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