Sunday, September 4, 2011

Focaccia With Peppers, Olives, and Pecorino Cheese

Miss me? Course you have. I've been up at the cottage all week. I had a grand old time, as always, but somehow I just couldn't keep my mind off of you, my dear readers. I can only imagine how bland your lives have been without me. So I have finally come home. I'm just self-sacrificing like that.

If you make it to the end of this post where I actually give you the recipe, you may notice something unusual while you are skimming through the ingredients. It is not laced with sugar. It is not smothered in butter. It is not the home to a single chunk, chip, or swirl of chocolate. You know why? I've decided that the tribe here at the Noshery needs to stop shoveling down so many sweets. This does not include green m&ms. I need my greens, people. 

Seriously though, don't worry too much about my new regimen. I'm notorious for failing to follow through with decisions. Especially when they involve self-sacrifice (I was just kidding about being self-sacrificing a few paragraphs ago). Even if it were to stick though, I don't think even you, my gluttonous friends, could complain about something like this focaccia.


Adapted from Amy's Bread

For Biga:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (105º-115º)
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

Stir together and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours or until more than doubled in volume.

For the Bread:
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups biga (see above)
4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Toppings:
A few tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 cups Pecorino Cheese (parmesan would be great too if that's all you have around)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 can of olives, sliced (I cut them in half)
Kosher salt

 Make the biga the night before. In the morning, mix together the warm water and yeast. Let sit for about three minutes. Mix together the biga and yeast mixture with your fingers. Add the flour and kneed or mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook for about five minutes until smooth and stretchy. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 minutes.
Now add the milk, oil, and salt and kneed or mix in the stand mixer for about 7 to 10 minutes or until smooth and stretchy. Let rise for 1 hour.
Fold the dough by pulling both sides to the middle, then folding it in half. Let it rise again for another hour or until almost doubled.
Pour onto a greased baking sheet (17 x 12 inches). Gently spread it to the edges of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 425º. Top the dough with the olive oil, a little kosher salt, the cheese, red bell pepper, and olives. You can just throw on the toppings if your lazy. Don't feel like you have to make any sort of design. After the bread has been rising on the sheet for half an hour, you can bake it.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425º and then reduce the heat to 350º and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes or until golden brown.

So to summaraize:
  1. Make the biga the night before.
  2. In the morning, kneed biga, yeast, and water for 5 minutes.
  3. Rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Add milk, flour, and salt, kneed for 7-10 minutes.
  5. Rise for one hour.
  6. Fold and rise for another hour.
  7. Prepare in pan and let rise for half an hour. 
  8. Bake 15 minutes at 425º and then 15-20 minutes at 350º.
So basically, plan on about four hours in the morning to devote to this bread. It will be worth it though, I assure you. 

Olive oil.
P.S. I got a new scarf today. Aint it purty?

Submitted to Yeast Spotting

1 comment:

  1. Your foccacia looks so good! I have this book, Amy's Bread, but have not tried any of the recipes yet, though this has been on my list. Have a nice day!