focaccia v2

IMG_8890IMG_8894If you ever come visit me here, remind me to take you to get {in my humble opinion} the best sandwiches in town. There’s a Sicilian bakery in the city centre which almost always has queues snaking out the door. The sandwiches are massive, and crammed full of delicious salamis, cheeses, roasted veggies and greens, but most importantly they’ve also got the perfect foundation of beautiful focaccia bread.IMG_8891I’ve made focaccia on this blog before and it is a favourite bread recipe of mine, no fillings needed: perfect straight out of the oven with no more than sea salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. However it’s very different to the focaccia from this bakery, which is undoubtedly ‘real focaccia’ or pretty damn close if you’re not in Italy.

 

This recipe is much closer to the Sicilian bakery’s version – and is the first thing I’ve made from the Binging with Babish YouTube channel. Babish {real name Andrew} recreates food from famous movies/TV shows {think the trifle with beef and onions from Friends} in his videos and they are addictive to watch. He also has a side channel for taking people through the basics of cooking, as he himself is entirely self-taught. I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

Focaccia {from Binging with Babish}

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Notes

  • This recipe has been modified from the one in the Binging with Babish ‘Basics of Bread’ video / this Bon Appetit recipe, in order to fit a 42 x 27 cm tin {the biggest I could buy at Lakeland}
  • When making bread, the easiest way to clear up sticky bits of leftover dough on spatulas and bowls is to let it dry first, then flake it off whatever surface it’s stuck to

Ingredients

  • 520g bread flour
  • 1½ tsp active dried yeast
  • 435ml water {room temp.}
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt {or ½ tbsp of fine salt} + extra for sprinkling
  • extra-virgin olive oil

Method

Mix together the flour and 360ml water in a stand mixer on a slow speed using a dough hook, scraping down the bowl to make sure there’s no dry flour left.

As the stand mixer is going, mix together 75ml water with the yeast and the sugar in a small bowl and leave for a few minutes, until the mixture starts to foam.

Pour the yeast mixture into the dough and mix gently to begin with in order to incorporate the additional liquid. Once combined, add the salt, and then use the mixer to knead until you get a sticky, wet dough – around 5 minutes.

Grease a mixing bowl with a generous amount of olive oil and tip the dough into it. Cover with a clean towel or cling film. Leave to prove in a warm spot for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Use a spatula to gently pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl so it deflates.

Generously oil a large baking tray and tip the dough into it. Oil your fingers and press the dough out so it fills the tray. If the dough is too tough to be coaxed out to the edges, wait 10 minutes and try again. Repeat until it reaches the edges. Make sure the top of the dough is oiled.

Cover the tray with clingfilm and put into the fridge to prove overnight.


Get the dough out of the fridge and leave for an hour somewhere warm so the yeast wakes up a bit.

Preheat your oven to 230*C and put a deep pan of water in the bottom.

Peel off the clingfilm and prod the dough with your fingers to create the characteristic dimples.

Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy on top.

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