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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