Attempted the focaccia recipe today. I have to say everything seemed to be going well until the very end, when I took the bread out. I followed the instructions exactly, using a 13 by 18 inch sheet pan, proofing and all, but I think maybe a few things didn't work out to make it exactly how I wanted it to be.
I've sacrificed my swimming time at the gym earlier, but I'm about to go swimming after this quick post.
To make the bread, I first dissolved yeast in a bowl of warm water, and had a separate bowl of cool water. I'm using all purpose flour instead of the bread flour recommended, because I have a ton of all purpose I bought recently, and I don't want to spend more money to accumulate more flour. Maybe I should....but I'll stick to all purpose for now and see how it turns out.
The dough proofed for about 30 minutes, and then 1 hour, and then another 30 after I drizzled the dough with olive oil stretched it out into the pan, and dimpled it with my fingers. Kind of a lot of waiting time!
After proofing in the pan for another 30 minutes, I covered it with dried rosemary and 1 tablespoon coarse salt
While it was baking, it smelled so good and yeasty, with a hint of rosemary. I suspected the dough was a bit lacking in height, but since I followed the recipe, thought that it would rise a lot more.
Baked the dough at 450 degrees for 33 minutes (recommended time was 35-45 minutes). I took it out, and eek! It's burnt on one part, and just looks super crispy...kind of like a cracker instead of fluffy bread. Dang. I'm a little disappointed because it's taken me a couple hours to do this whole process, and the result is not what I pictured....
It tastes pretty good though. If not focaccia bread, it's a pretty good cracker to eat with cheese and tomatoes. It's flavorful, but the results make me want to do this again, and get it right.
Even though the recipe says to use a 13 by 18 inch baking sheet, I think I need to opt for a smaller size for sure. I will use my ceramic IKEA tart pan next time and also opt for a shorter baking time, like 25 minutes instead of the suggested 35. I'm a little upset that the recipe didn't work out the first time. In my opinion, a good recipe in a cook book should work out the very first time if you follow the recipe correctly... but I guess there's a lot of things to factor in, such as my use of all purpose flour instead of bread flour, and the temperature of my kitchen (maybe it wasn't warm enough to do a proper proofing of the dough...who knows?)
Well, focaccia didn't turn out as well as I thought, but I am going to give it another try in the next few days and hopefully it'll turn out better! I will be sure to post my update on the recipe soon!
Sigh. Well, there's a first for everything. Part of me is angry for wasting time, but perhaps it isn't time wasted. It's all practice in my becoming a more proficient and wise baker. So long for today! -Kaori
My husband and I are expecting a baby girl at the end of next month! We are excited and elated to be parents and to welcome in this new journey of our family, but I also know that after the baby is born, my time to do things that I would like to do will be a bit more limited. Hence, I've decided to take on the challenge of mastering the art of bread!
The challenge: 12 different breads in 12 days!
Not in any order:
Over the course of the next 12 days, I will be following the recipes and techniques described in Sarah Black's book, "One Dough, Ten Breads". I've always wanted to master how to make a perfect focaccia, ciabatta, baguette, and sourdough bread, as well as breads with unique combinations of ingredients like rye and semolina. Her book contains 10 recipes, and I will be adding on two more, croissants and a mystery bread that I won't reveal yet. So, the next 12 days may be a bit more hectic than usual, but 12 breads, 12 day challenge, here I come! I am also currently not working, as our bun in the oven is growing bigger and will be done baking soon, so I have some extra time to do this (hopefully).
I will be posting photos and candid reflections of my 12-Day Bread journey. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Shino Takahashi
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