Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TWD -- January is Focaccia Month

The Baking with Julia Focaccia
January was my month for making focaccia. I am a volunteer at a bakery which supports a national Roman Catholic Shrine in Carey, OH. All proceeds from the bakery go toward the upkeep of the bascillica. During the month of January we made large batches of focacccia on two separate occasions. So, when I saw the Feb. 5 assignment with Baking with Julia was foccacia, I made mine on Jan. 30, making it Focaccia Month for me.

Interestingly enough, neither the bakery's method nor the Baking with Julia technique were what I normally do when left to my own devices. My favorite way to make focaccia is using Jeffery Hamelman's recipe in the book "Bread." His method uses a poolish and the resulting dough is very wet, similar to a ciabatta dough. I love the results using this method and often make this focaccia when asked to bring something for a potluck.

The bakery's method is to take our wildly popular pizza dough, let it rise once, pat it into full-sized bakery sheets using five pounds of dough per sheet, letting it rise again, then dimpling the dough with our fingers. We next slowly pour olive oil over the dough, then add rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. The resulting product is probably an 1 1/2-2 inches in thickness.

Dough after slashing but before baking
The Baking with Julia recipe was intriguing because of the refrigeration step. I was curious to see if it did result in large holes as advertised. It did; now I'm wondering how. Would the holes have been even bigger had I let the dough rise a second time? I'd be curious to try this recipe again and use a second rise.

A portabella sandwich on focaccia
I thought slashing the dough in a tic-tac-toe design interesting, as I usually think of focaccia with dimpled dough. I was pleased with the results, but next time will make it a little thicker. I like focaccia for sandwiches, and this was a little short to slice in half.


  1. Glad you were pleased with the results. Thanks for baking along this week!

  2. It's very interesting to hear the different methods of making focaccia. Unfortunately, I wasn't very happy with this one. It just didn't come out as puffy and airy as I wanted it to. Yours looks great though - a nice portabella sandwich sounds pretty good for lunch!

  3. I am used to using a dimple method as well.
    Your bread looks perfect for sandwiches.

  4. Cool that you got to make so many focaccias. I will have to look up your favourite one. I like a thicker focaccia as well. This one was interesting, but not sure I'd make it again. Great job.

  5. I've seen the poolish method, and have made ciabatta. You have inspired me to try poolish focaccia. I really, really liked this week's focaccia, though not sure if that's because I am used to flatter focaccias, or mine rose a little more than some other bakers'....

  6. Your focaccia appears to have been a complete success. Since our version of this recipe was gluten free, we didn't want to risk the long overnight refrigerated rise on our first attempt. We loved the recipe, and will attempt the 'long resting period' with our next try.

  7. I am going to have to look up Jeffery Hamelman's recipe. That sounds very close to the way I make it as well. Seems like it turned out very well!

  8. Your focaccia looks great and what beautiful coloring it has. I did not get the air pockets after baking, but still tasty.