Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Artisan Bread Making Lesson 6 & 7: Part 2

Are you guys sick of reading about bread making yet?  I hope not.  Trust me, if the internet had a way to transport smells, you would be drooling just as much as I am.  So last week, I said I was going to make focaccia this week since I didn't have enough dough last week.  I made this in the evening, so excuse the washed out pictures.

Here's the dealio, you start the bread dough same as ciabatta.  It's a slightly stickier dough than country style bread, so you use more oil to make it manageable.  So, I mixed up the dough, and did the stretch and folds, handling it on a well oiled counter top.  Then, I took my bench blade and divided it as evenly as I could.
Look at all that oily goodness.
Then you can bake it in pretty much whatever you like.  I don't have a jelly roll pan.  I have some baking sheets that have lipped edges, but according to Peter Reinhart, the class instructor, the bread should rise to 2.5 to 3 inches.  So, I decided to bake them in my 9 inch round cake pans.  I cut circles out of parchment paper to line my pans and spilled  little oil in each pain to prevent sticking.
I think I should be investing in olive oil as much as I've been using lately.
Then I just covered them each with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until I was ready to bake (it needs to sit for at least eight hours).  They sat in the refrigerator about twenty four hours.  When I pulled them out the fridge, I smushed the dough out as much as I could.  It resisted a little but was fairly easy to work with.
Now, just waiting for it to warm up.
While, I waited for the dough to warm up, I mixed up my herbed oil.  The class printout comes with a recipe so I kind of followed that.  It has basil, parsley, paprika, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper.  So, I mixed that up, but you can make yours with whatever you like.  Then I pushed the bread to the edges of the pan and then brushed with the herbed oil.
More olive oil!
So, then you just let it rise on the counter for a couple hours. I think mine sat out about two and half hours before I through it in a 450 degree oven for about twenty minutes.  And this is what it comes out looking like.
Notice the unintentional beauty mark at the 2 o'clock spot?
So how'd it taste?  Not like any focaccia I've had before.  I'm used to cutting focaccia with a pizza cutter, basically pizza crust with herbs and oils.  This is more like a traditional bread.  I think it'd be super tasty sliced in half through the middle to make two big circles and then fill with sandwich fixings for a big party sandwich.  It was good tasting.  I liked the herb flavor.  And, all that oil made it have a crispy outside with a super soft inside.  Next time I may try to cut down some of the oil, just to make it a little healthier.  To boil it down, it was good, but I liked the ciabatta better.

And of course, if you want to try your hand at artisan bread baking, I can't recommend my affiliate, Craftsy's, Artisan Bread Making Class enough.  Check it out.

Online Bread Making Class

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