Focaccia is one of those bake day breads, feed the family while you are doing the week's baking. So simple, it can stand on its own, or with added herbs and olive oil. Its life purpose is maximum crust with a chew. But, and it’s a wonder, how wrong some renditions I’ve had, can be. This Focaccia recipe is good, primarily because of the overnight fermentation and the rustic rye flavors. The flavor's maybe even better than the pain a l’ ancienne, which has always been my favorite. Because I can’t eat wheat, I find I use this recipe often. Sometimes, when I can’t decide what to make for a meal I’ll just start with a pan of this fresh out of the oven rye focaccia, and then everything else falls into place; there are no complaints.
Crusty and flavorful
That’s what happened today. I started the ferment last night, and put some puy lentils to soak, but that’s about as far as my thinking went. Then it all came together as I caramelized onions and carrots, added wine and when that had cooked off, the lentils; roasted potatoes, cauliflower and zucchini from the garden...harvested some Italian bitter greens. The focaccia came out crusty, and flavorful with herbs and tang. Great combo with the rich lentils and roasted veggies. Interestingly, we had some focaccia with raw honey at the end of the meal, and it really brought out the subtle herb flavors in the bread. I'll have to remember that. Life is Good.
Morning Ingredients 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 teaspoon honey 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, marjoram, and basil
Method I use a food processor for mixing, but it can be done by hand.
In The Evening Measure rye flakes into food processor and spin until fine. Add gluten free flour and rye flours and spin Crumble firm levain over flours and spin for a minute. Transfer to a mixing bowl Add water, stir until combined, cover and let sit at room temperature 65-75F for 12 hours or until fermented.
In The Morning Turn oven on to warm 145F Cover a large baker’s sheet (mine is 13 x 18 inches) with oiled parchment paper Sprinkle salt over fermented dough Add honey. olive oil and herbs to dough Combine well (I do this with my hands in the bowl.) Put all of the dough into the center of the sheet--it's a wet sticky dough. Pat into a thick rectangular shape, generously drizzle on olive oil Press the dough evenly out from the center until it reaches the sides of the pan. Dimple the dough all over with your fingertips. I love it when the olive oil is in the dimples. Turn the oven off Let the focaccia proof in oven for 1 ½ hours or until puffy. Take the proofed focaccia out of the oven. Preheat for baking to 500F Place focaccia in oven and reduce heat to 450F Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees Continue baking for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. The internal temperature of the dough should register 200F measured in the center. Remove from the pan and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.