Sunday, 30 June 2013

Focaccia doesn't mean ugly seal!

Have you ever heard of focaccia? It's an Italian type of bread which translated literally means ugly seal, but it actually doesn't have anything to do with this funny animal. 

Focaccia is very popular in Italy as its dough is very similar to the one of pizza. Since it's usually topped with "dry" ingredients such as herbs, olives, or onions, instead of with tomato sauce and mozzarella, olive oil is generously spread over the dough to preserve the moisture. Also a common thing to do is to dot it, either with a fork or with fingers, in order for the dough to soak the oil. 

I made this week the version with herbs and salt and want to share the recipe with you.

400 ml. water
15 gr. salt
12 gr. yeast
2 spoons of sugar 
600 gr. flour
100 ml. olive oil
mixed herbs: sage, rosemarin, basil, oregano, etc.

Put in a bowl the yeast and the sugar and stir with 20 ml. of water until melted. In the remaining water melt the salt and add the oil. Put the flour in your mixer and add the fluid mixtures. Mix for about 5 minutes or until you have a homogeneous but sticky dough (if you prefer you can work with your hands). On an oven tray pour some oil and place your dough ball in the middle. Put the tray in the oven without turning it on (this is very important!) and let the dough rise for about an hour. As soon as it has doubled its size you can start giving it the right shape by spreading it with your hands and some oil. Make sure to leave fingerprints or to dot it with a fork. Then let it rise for 10 more minutes. Now heat your oven at 200• C and in the mean time add the herbs, salt, and oil that is left over. Spray over your focaccia some water; it's important to crate a humid environment to keep the dough soft. If necessary spread more water whilst the focaccia bakes for 15 minutes. When golden-brown it is ready. Let it cool down and then enjoy a bite of Italy!

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