21 hours ago
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Here I am again, baking focaccia.
There is something so satisfying making these wonderful loaves and focaccia breads for me, they are like creating a beautiful piece of art.
Here, I made a sweet focaccia and used a little honey in the dough.
And since it is not fresh fig season here in NJ until August/September, I relied on my trusty dried figs instead, and they came out wonderful.
The original recipe uses gorgonzola, which sounds delicious to me too.....but I just went w/ a more simple version.
Fig Focaccia w/ Onions & Rosemary (loosely adapted from Italian Food Forever):
5 cups all purpose or bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 2 Additional Tablespoons to oil bowl)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 Cups Warm Water
1 large onion, sliced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
6-8 (depending on the size) fresh or dried figs, tips trimmed and cut in half
1 stem of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp honey
kosher salt for the top
Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast, and water.
Add everything but the water into a large bowl and stir.
Add half the water and stir.
Continue to add water until the dough begins to come together into a shaggy ball.
Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead with the heels of your hand.
Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliant.
Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your ball of dough inside.
Roll the ball of dough around in the oil ensuring the sides of the bowl and ball of dough are both lightly oiled.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise.
Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about 2-3 hours, depending on ambient temperature. You could also leave it sit overnight and it will work its magic while you are sleeping!
While the dough is rising, prepare the onions.
In a heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions.
Cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
Lightly oil a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet with sides, or a 12" cast iron skillet (my choice for focaccia).
Dump your risen dough into the pan punching it down to deflate it.
Use your fingers to push and press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another hour or until the dough dimples when pushed with your fingertip.
Use the tips of your fingers to dimple the entire top of the focaccia.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top turning the pan carefully to allow the oil to roll into the indentations.
Scatter the onions evenly across the top of the focaccia, then arrange the sliced figs and push down so they don't fall off the bread after it is baked.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt and black pepper over the top of your focaccia and drizzle w/ honey.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
I cut my bread into slices and freeze them so they are fresh and ready for the toaster oven.
A work of art!