Monday, April 2, 2012

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia

This recipe is for real restaurant quality focaccia. It is not difficult but it takes a long time. Several days long. Believe me, it is worth the patience.

From The Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhardt via Clockwork Lemon, makes one large loaf


5 cups bread flour, plus additional for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing
2 cups water, room temperature

3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon rosemary
1 head garlic, roasted and chopped


Combine the 3/4 cup of olive oil, rosemary and garlic in a small sauce pan over low heat. Allow to warm for a couple minutes to infuse the rosemary and garlic into the oil. Set aside. (You could always infuse additional olive oil for dipping or for use in salad dressings. The oil can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)

In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Stir to combine. Slowly add the water and oil while mixing on low speed with the paddle attachment. Once the mixture has combined into a wet sticky dough, switch to the bread hook and knead for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth but still sticky. It should have cleared the sides of the bowl but still sticking to the bottom.

Generously sprinkle the work surface with flour. Scrape the dough on to the surface. Dust the dough with flour and then pat into a large rectangle. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Stretch the rectangle out lengthwise to twice the size. Fold over in thirds like a letter. Brush the top surface with olive oil and sprinkle with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Repeat the stretching, folding and resting process two more times. After the last fold, allow the dough to rest on the counter for an hour to rise.

Line a 11x17 baking pan with parchment paper. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the infused olive oil over the paper ensuring it spreads to cover the entire surface. Transfer the dough into the pan. Spoon an additional 1/4 cup of infused olive oil over the top of the dough. Use your fingers to dimple and spread the dough, making sure not to tear the dough. If the dough is too springy to dimple and stretch, allow it to rest for an additional 15 minutes and then resume dimpling. Ensure that the entire surface is coated with olive oil.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to rise overnight.

The next day...

Remove the dough from the refrigerator three hours prior to baking. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of infused olive oil over the bread and dimple the surface again. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for an additional three hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 F.  Sprinkle the rosemary and roasted garlic on top of the dough. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and lower the temperature to 450 F. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the surface turns golden brown.

Remove the oven and immediately remove the bread from the pan. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.


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