I love foccacia. Pasquini's Old World Bakery in Denver, now gone, made some so good I actually dreamt about it. I was so excited about Dom's recipe on here that I finally got crazy enough to try it. It's in its final proof right now and I cannot wait for dinner! Anyway, not having a kitchen scale YET, I had to convert the weight measures to nasty old American volume measures. I used the terrific website www.convert-me.com, which provides food-type-based conversions which gets you closer to desired results, but of course they didn't have a conversion for sourdough starter. Anyway, this is what I came up with and so far, it seems to be going along well because I've got two blistery, fluffy foccaci almost ready for the finishing touches and the oven.
Here's what I came up with:
Kath's American Bastard of Dom's Sourdough Foccacia
1/2 cup 100% hydration starter
1-2/3 cup dechlorinated water (I keep mine in a tea kettle)
1 tsp malted barley flour
4-7/8 cups all purpose white flour
2 tsp non-iodized salt
5 tbsp olive oil, divided 2 and 3
Mix water and starter; add malt and mix well. Mix in the flour, 2T olive oil and salt just enough to moisten most of the flour. Let it rest 10 min.
(don't do this yet...but whee! I just lit the oven to "max" or 500 degrees F)
Now oil up your hands REALLY WELL and pull the edges of the dough in the bowl into the middle a couple of times. This is a super soft dough. Let it rest another 10 min.
Put the other 3T olive oil in another big bowl, swish it around a bit, then tip the dough into it. Knead it a little bit, about 10 seconds, then let it rest another 30 min.
Now dump the dough onto your bread board or clean counter. It's oily enough it doesn't need oil or flour on the surface. Gently pat it out in a circle, bring the far side to the middle, the near side to the middle, punch it once, then grab the right side and pull it as far as possible without breaking it and fold to the middle, then do the same with the left side. You now have a doughy square package. Put it back in the oily bowl, folded edges down. Cover and leave it for 1 hour.
Flour your bread board or counter a little bit (I found a quarter cup more than enough). Do the folding stretching thing again and let it rest in the bowl 1 hour.
Do it again. Now you can shape it or you can put it in the refrigerator like I did until ready to bake. Just take it out for a half hour before shaping and give it a little extra time (15-30 minutes) on the final proof.
Shaping it is fun! Cut the dough in half with one swoop and form two rectangles by pushing the soft almost gooey masses around with the edges of your hands and fingertips on a big, oiled cookie sheet. You don't want to overwork the dough at all because you'll ruin the gorgeous blisters and airiness. You could also make mini foccaci for gifting or amusement, just baby that dough, okay? : ) Give 'em their final proof for another hour (remember to add a little time if you had refrigerated the dough).
Garnish and bake
(Live action: I just decked out one foccacia with the olive oil drizzle, sea salt, smoked sun-dried tomatoes, capers, artichoke hearts and tres formaggio in very light proportions - this isn't pizza!. The other got the traditional rosemary, olive oil and salt...mmm! They're in the oven now...!)
Now you get to drizzle (slather if you prefer) more olive oil on, sprinkle with some salt and rosemary or whatever else you like. Pasquini's did a gorgeous number with olive oil, tarragon, paper thin lemon slices and itsy bitsy asparagus spears....ooo-la-la! Just keep it light or you'll ruin the in-oven rising action.
The oven needs to be HOT, I put up to 500 F. Bake it until firm but not brown (8 to 10 minutes), then transfer to a baking stone (dammit I gave mine to my son) or a pizza mesh (neat thing used by many pizzerias) and bake until the top is pleasingly brown. This crisps up the bottom crust.
(Oh yeah, we are in biz-nis! CHOW!)
These are delicious, beautiful specimens. Crisp and rich with olive oil on the outside, tender and riddled with holes big enough to fit a thumb on the inside! The flavor is right-on. Observation about garnishes: I think I'd add them the last few minutes (after the transfer), excepting the trad herb-salt-oil, to prevent them burning or becoming dry.