Friday, October 22, 2010

Farmer's Market Inspired Focaccia.

We enjoy attending local Farmer's Markets though out Central Texas on the weekends. There is one booth which always intrigues us when we are lucky enough to run across it. One of the Farmer's Market vendor lives in the Texas Hill Country & drives into the Austin area weekly with fresh baked breads. The breads are fabulous & full of fresh & local ingredients. One of our favorites is the fresh baked Focaccia bread. We were especially drawn to the Mushroom Focaccia. So when we found Texas Fresh baby portabella mushrooms there was little question what we would bake up using the local mushrooms. A quick scan though the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book (more on this book later...)left us with a great recipe choice for an easy Focaccia bread which would complement the mushrooms as well as our other choice toppings. We actually had enough dough to make more than one Focaccia bread & made a variety of toppings however our favorite hands down was the Mushroom & Garlic.

From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Olive Oil Dough

Makes 4-1lb loaves.

2-3/4 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoon granulated yeast
1-1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Toppings: Garlic, Rosemary, Sea salt, Pancetta, Sun dried Tomatos, Roasted red pepper, mushrooms are a few choices, use your imagination.

Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the flour without kneading. I used my stand mixer with dough hook, but you can use a spoon (I used a fork).

Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and colapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours. I loosely placed plastic wrap on top of the bowl & laid a clean tea towel over the top to keep the dough warm.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days. We used all of the dough to make 4 nice sized Focaccia breads.

Preheat the oven to 425* Each 1 pound (*grapefruit size portion) of the dough will make 1 Focaccia flat bread. Each Focaccia will make 6 - 8 appetizer sized portions.

Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or line with parchment paper. We made our entire batch so experimented using a baking stone with a dusting of cornmeal underneath 2 of the Focaccia breads & 2 others we baked on cookie sheets greased lightly with olive oil.

Preparing the Focaccia with toppings

Dust surface of refrigerated dough with flour (the grapefruit sized pieces, you should have 4) Quickly shape the piece into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all 4 sides, rotating until the piece fits onto cookie sheet or baking stone. Flatten it into 1/2 in. thick round using your hands. With greased finger tips make dimples into the dough. Let dough rest briefly while toppings are prepared. We used slices of garlic, roasted red peppers, fresh rosemary, mushrooms which had been sauteed & pancetta. Arrange toppings over the surface of the prepared Focaccia dough. Once the breads/toppings are arranged sprinkle coarse sea salt, a few teaspoons of parmesan cheese & drizzle with olive oil(approx 1 tsp per bread) Place the cookie sheet/baking stone in the center of the oven. Bake 25 minutes. Cut into wedges & serve warm.

If you enjoy Artisan Breads in the store & wondered how you could make them, try picking this wonderful book up: Check Here