Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BBA Focaccia bread

I literally could end this blog right here, with pictures of this truly awesome bread/pizza. The crust was flaky, almost like a pastry, and the inside was soft, tender, filled with holes, and so very good. It wrapped itself around my inner yum, and I found myself eating two pieces. I just couldn't help it. It was that good. My son told me it's now one of the things he will ask me to make when he comes home from college to visit.  A new favorite for him, impressive!

 Then there was Andy, who drooled over it and finally took a single bite. Bread flour is something he cannot eat without getting REALLY sick. This bread is so filled with olive oil, it is NOT a diet food that is for sure! Normally I do not like things that are dripping with oil, but this was different. I couldn't eat it all the time, but it is definitely something I will make again in the future.

Here's a slideshow of how I made this bread, and if you click in the middle of the picture it will take you to my picasa album for this bread.

Just a couple notes on how to make this. I made the poolish two days ago and used unbleached AP flour, to develop the flavor of the wheat. I knew that the bread flour from costco was a bleached flour, so the chances of it developing any flavor were nil. When I bought it I thought is was unbleached, guess I really need to read labels better!

I got busy and left the poolish out long enough to bubble up, then put it into the fridge and only had time to pull it out today to make the focaccia. I did not do an overnight aging of the entire dough, because I knew that it wouldn't increase the flavor of bleached flour so it really made no sense.

Besides, my fridge is full of extra stuff for my son's visit home. Yes, he is spoiled, but I love him and want to give him some meals he loved growing up. Mom's do that sort of thing for their favorite boy child! They do it also for their favorite girl child, just she doesn't come home as often. I love to watch them grow to be such awesome people, but it means that they sometimes are so very far away. I really miss them when they are gone.

I mixed the dough in the mixer, after doing a hand stir of it for a couple minutes. My mixer does not like small amounts of dough, so I have to help it and watch it carefully. It kneaded the dough for 7 minutes, and developed a nice feel to it. I had to use my plastic dough tool to scoop it from the bowl, along with a silicone spatula. This helped get the dough onto my dough mat into the flour I had spread out. I followed the 4 stretch and folds, and put the oil onto the pan and then dimpled the dough and poured more herb oil on top. I thought I had messed up, to much oil, and to many herbs on top.

After this I waited half an hour, redimpled the dough, and put the toppings on it. I used about a cup of cheese, and some pepperoni, because my son loves pepperoni pizza. He usually piles his pizza with a TON of cheese, but I only put a light coating on top and he seemed happy with it when it was done. The herbs I used in the olive oil were oregano, basil, parsley, kosher salt, pepper. Gave it really nice flavor, even if they were dried rather than fresh. I then preheated the oven to 500* and turned it down to 450* when I put the pizza pan into the oven. I baked it for 20 minutes, and then allowed it to cool for about 10 minutes before using a pizza cutter to cut it, figuring my son would simply eat it like pizza. I can't believe the crumb came out so good, when I cut it with a Pizza cutter! Well, time to put crab stuffed mushroom caps into the oven for my husband's snack!
BBA Focaccia

Links to my fellow baker's in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, 2011!  Here are links to their versions of this bread.  They are all very talented baker's, who have gotten together to share their results from baking the Bread's in Peter Reinhart's book Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Our host Chris at A Ku Indeed! 
Coz at ScratchBaker 
Jim at OvenMinded
NancyB at Bread&Cake&More 
I will post others as they finish theirs!


  1. Beautiful! I can almost taste it! You are right, we love our kids and our kids love our baking...oh yeah, they love us too! :D

  2. Joanne, your focaccia looks amazing! Your Son will be coming home more and more I bet!! I love your slide show and I would love to hear more about your excel sheet and how you use it. As percise as you could own your own bakery!!

  3. Wow, look at that! It looks mouthwatering, and I haven't even had breakfast yet this morning!!

    We had kids so we could spoil them...good on you! :)

  4. Thanks! It's been a busy week and it's time for my son to go back to school today. Always makes me sad, but they do have to grow up.

    Thanks Coz, what a nice compliment! I will try to blog on how to use my excel worksheet, and it's already posted online. In fact I had to update one to handle some of the recipes that have a soaker, poolish, and the final dough.

    The focaccia was really good and I can see making it in the future!