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Foccacia

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
The foccacia we are making in my restaurant just isn't cutting it. Anyone out there have any tips or tricks for making a killer one?
Deglazed
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post #2 of 32
Matt, in what area do you feel your current product is not 'cutting it'? Taste? Texture?
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
The simple answer to that question is "yes". It has no taste, and is hard as a rock. I am not sure if it is the techinique of the person I have working on it, or a short coming in the recipe, so any tricks for this bread you may have, I am all ears.
Deglazed
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post #4 of 32
Matt,

It's been quite some time since I made real Foccacia but if I remember correctly the only difference between it and Ciabatta is seasoning and or toppings.

The flavor of the bread comes from the sponge and anything past that is "extra". I seem to remember letting my sponge go for 12hrs before kneeding in the remaining flour. Let it bench rest too. Artisan breads are not meant to be rushed. Hence the name "Artisan".

Foccacia, Ciabatta, Sour Dough, Peasant, Brioche, etc are not breads you throw together in the morning and have ready for service by lunch. You could try to find Bromated Flour too. This helps the same way it does in most Pizza dough recipes.

JMHPO

Ciao
post #5 of 32
Maybe if you throw up the recipe that you have it will give us an opportunity to see what some of the problems might be. Focaccia is not all that difficult & sometimes there's just a monkey in the house.
post #6 of 32
[quote=Scarecrobot;176982]Maybe if you throw up the recipe that you have it will give us an opportunity to see what some of the problems might be. Foccacia is not all that difficult & sometimes there's just a monkey in the house.
post #7 of 32
My opinion, don't skimp on the extra virgin olive oil. Also, as suggested above, prefermented dough will go a long way to improving the flavour of your dough, if you do enough volume I suggest you always have a batch of preferment or poolish in the fridge.
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post #8 of 32
Oldschool hit it right on the head, the flavour come from long fermentation, so it's best to make a sponge, pre-ferment, poolish, or what ever you want to call it the day before, let it rest 3 hrs a t room temp and then stuff it in the fridge overnight. I like to substitute 10% of the flour weight of the sponge with organic rye flour,--some decent flavour there. The sponge can be anywhere from 20% to 60% of the final weight of the finished dough. Next day make a straight dough, then add the (tempered at room temp for a few hours) sponge, mix well, and rest for 2-3 hours. Divide, and round off, rest a few minutes, then tease into a rectangular shape, rest, then fit into a sheet pan, rest, tease into shape some more, douse with x-virg olive o. herbs, coarse salt, etc. At this stage you can refrigerate for up to 14 hrs (even more flavour) or bake off.

The above type of scenerio allows you alot of time in between stages that can dovetail into your routine/service times and "boss of the oven" times. Just make it fit in with your schedule and you'll be O.K.

P.S. A sure-fire way to tell if the dough has been aged(fermented) well enough is the colour the bread takes when it's finished baking. Straight or rushed doughs will have a pasty white colour, aged doughs will have a redddish/brown/gold colour.

Hope this helps
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post #9 of 32
mattfin; without knowing the recipie it sounds like your making pizza. I always hand streached/patted my dough on a olive oiled pan. Let the dough rest around a hour till dough puffed up a little. Punched dimples in the dough.Drizzled with olive oil,there may be little pools lof oil lin some of the dimples which is fine. Seasoned with kosher salt and a mixture of herbs or garlic sundried tom., basil and red onion rings. Anything you can think of,but always the olive oil on the bread. Tell lyour baker the next time it comes out hard he's going in the oven, just a little incentive...lol just kidding. That being said I will share my foccacia ingreedients. 2 parts unbleached white flour,1 part whole wheat. a hand of wheat bran per lb of flour. 1/4 cp.edible yeast per lb. of flour. I never had to let the dough rest for a long time or refridger ate the dough which will retard the proofing of the dough. Look for a soft rise in the dough and don't pound it down before adding toppings. I hope this will help. Some might say I've not made true foccicia because of my additions to the dough but Gormet liked it when they visited my restraunt...good cookin cookie
post #10 of 32
I always thought a mash potato was an ingredient in foccacia...

Luc
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post #11 of 32
Cookbook:Focaccia Bread - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks try this agaist the recipe your using. this looks like the kind I'm used to, soft and yummy.
post #12 of 32
Chef Raz; what a interesting site. I'm going to check it out in depth tonight. This is kind of what I do. I only add bran, germ and some whole wheat for health. Do you have any other sites on baking or pastries to share? Thanks for your input...good cookin...cookie :cool:
post #13 of 32
I have found that if I use too much olive oil on the botton of the pan the bottom crust is too hard. Does that help any at all? I hope so.:o
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Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your tips and ideas!

So one of the problems, after watching the prep chef make it was that her techinique was a tad off. She was overworking the dough, and not proofing for proper amounts of time. I have basically started over with her, and the result is now good, but not yet great.

I like the different flour combinations you have suggested. I am currently using a mix of AP flour, King Arthur Special Flour and Semolina flour myself. I am working on that balance, and I think if I throw in some whole wheat, that would be a nice touch.

Also, I like the idea of a poolish. I had never considered it for foccacia, simply because foccacia to me has always been one of my "fast breads" that always comes out quick and delicious. (I make a poolish for things like casareccio.) I may try that as well, since I think that could only help the bread overall - not hinder it.

Again, thanks for the ideas - I am making progress, and hope to take it further!
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post #15 of 32
I made a pot of my mom’s homemade spaghetti for supper tonight so I could try out this recipe that you posted for Focaccia Bread.

I had it at an Italian restaurant years ago and fell in love with it. I have tried several times with no success to make it at home.

Thank you so much for posting this recipe; it duplicates the bread I had at the restaurant I fell in love with.






Focaccia Bread
Cookbook:Focaccia Bread - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

Note: I changed the “Procedure” to fit my bread machine and added 1-1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic to the water and 1/3 cup of powdered milk.

I sprinkled the top of the bread with course salt after the oil went on and before the herbs and I used Italian seasonings rather than just rosemary.

Ingredients

1-cup water
1 teaspoon white sugar
1-teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-tablespoon active dry yeast

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Procedure
Place ingredients into bread machine in order listed and select the dough cycle. When the dough has risen to the top of the pan remove it to a baking sheet.

Place dough on a greased baking sheet; roll it out to 12-inch circle. Cover with greased plastic wrap and a cloth towel. Place in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Uncover dough, and poke holes in it with a spoon handle at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle olive oil on dough, and sprinkle with crushed rosemary.

Bake at 400° for 17 to 27 minutes, until just golden. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on rack.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #16 of 32
BettyR; Kudos to you. What great lookin bread. Try multiple herbs some time and sundried tomatoes or slivers of plum tomatoeswith herbs like fresh slivers of basil to garnish. roasted garlic is a great addition with everything. I wish you...good cookin...cookie
post #17 of 32
I've been skimming through a Portuguese cook book by Jean Anderson and one thing I found to be a theme in their breads--adding steam to the cooking process. This is done by wetting the sides of the hot clay oven with cold water occasionally. They get thick crusts but then are also very moist on the inside. I might be wrong, but I don't think the thick crust would be really hard either.

Thanks to Jean Anderson for some really great recipes, although this one I haven't tried yet, can only visualize in my taste buds so far:lol: if that's possible.
post #18 of 32
Thanks...I'll try that.

I cut some fresh herbs out of my garden and put them in some olive oil along with some chopped garlic to dip the bread in; I cut some basil, thyme, sage and parsley to put in my olive oil. Oh!! It was good!!

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #19 of 32
Check out this video if you haven't already seen it.

YouTube - Making No-Knead Bread

I've made this bread several times, it's always very good and sooooo easy!!



"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #20 of 32
OregonYeti; To steam in the oven just put a tin of water on the very bottom of the oven. I do this when baking chicken and turkey as well as some breads...good cookin...cookie :smoking:
post #21 of 32
Looks great . glad to help. heres some more if your up for it.


Focaccia Recipes like ABM - Focaccia Recipe, Bacon Walnut And Feta Focaccia Recipe, Basil Focaccias With Fresh

Patty's Italian Pizza & Focaccia Recipes <--this one has a recipe with potatos

Focaccia Recipe by Hand or Bread Machine - Recipe for Focaccia note: soome of the recipes when you print out have adds on it just scroll down to the button that says "printer friendly copy".
post #22 of 32
BettyR; You certainly have the flair for baking. Congrats on great lookin bread. I could use a big thick slice right NOW!...lol. I really like your presintation with the dipping oil and your fresh herbs...yum. I really want some NOW! Guess I better get by buns into the kitchen...lol. I used this simple dip in my restraunt and I hope you will give it a try. Reduce a cup of baslamic vinager by 2/3ds. cover the bottom of a dessert or salad plate with EVOO. place dropplets of reduced vinager from a spoon,(or what I used was a little perm. bottle from the beauity store...blush),all around the plate. finnish with a few roasted garlic cloves on the plate to be used like butter for that wounderful bread. ****, I'd like some bread right NOW!...lol. The purpose of reducing the vinager is the vinager will not hold up as dropletts in the oil and run.plus the concentrated vinager taste great. by the way some of those great lookin herbs chopped up and sprinkled on would be a welcome addition...good cookin...cookie...by the way betti,your brread tooks better than thiers...be proud :)
post #23 of 32

eazy peazy

for my foccacia \

2 envelopes of yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups ww flour
3 cups ap flour
1/4 cup good olive oil
1-2 tsp salt

slurry the yeast, warm water and 1cup ap flour
20 min

either by hand or on mixer (just until the dough forms)
add all

proof 1 hour or over night in cooler

punch down

proof 1 hour

form in greased pan by hand and make indentations with fingers, fork or dough docker.

add to the top 1/4 cup +- nice olive oil, herbs, thin onions, oil cured black olives, salt and pepper

you can also use tomatoes, red onion and walnuts with rosemary

the point is to make it flavorful and let the oil well up a little in the dimples.

proof 20 min

bake at 375-425 f until the neighbors come looking for the sorce of the fantastic aroma!
can be grilled too!:bounce:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #24 of 32
Betty R, thank you for the video reference! Is this bread also good cold? Other breads I've tasted that weren't kneaded or were machine made, were very good hot but not as good cold . . .
post #25 of 32
Thanks I'll check these out.

My husband and son polished off that whole loaf of bread last night; thanks again for the recipe.
Betty
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #26 of 32
You are very kind!

I love the idea of the EVOO and the vinegar, I'm going to copy this and give it a try.

I love baking bread, it's so much fun and it's never very hard to find someone to finish off the latest experiment so I get to play again.
Betty
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #27 of 32
This bread is very good cold, it has the best flavor and wonderful texture. The crust is thick and crusty and the inside turns this pale golden color (my camera washed out the color) and has a chewy texture that's like nothing I've ever had before.

I swear I could eat the whole loaf, it's addictive, no matter how much you eat you still want one more piece.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
Reply
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
Reply
post #28 of 32
Thanks, Betty, I've got to try it. Also your pic of olive oil with fresh herbs in makes me want to make that to dip bread in. Where I lived in Western Oregon I had herbs growing in my garden (including a jungle of rosemary that was just one plant), but here in high desert country I'd buy the fresh herbs.
post #29 of 32
You should try a container garden; the part of Texas that I live in is called “The Big Thicket”. You can clear a place to grow things but if you aren’t diligent about your mowing and weeding the “jungle” will overtake take it before you realize what has happened. I find it much easier to just plant what I want in pots and set them out around the yard.

These were my new plants at the beginning of spring; February in these parts, they have all since been replanted into larger containers.



This is my back yard; you can see what I mean about the “jungle”.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
Reply
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
Reply
post #30 of 32

You guys are terrible influences!

Man did you all make me *crave* focaccia! Guess I know what I will be doing tomorrow for dinner!

I add a healthy pinch (or two) of the powdered rosemary from Penzey's to my focaccia recipes - I have found that while people love the flavor of rosemary they are put off by the leaves getting stuck in their teeth. The stuff is potent, though, so start small and add more to taste after you have made the recipe a couple of times.

When I don't have time to make roasted garlic I swirl some roasted garlic olive oil and some very dark EVOO in a dish with a few flakes of red pepper. SO not original, I know, but people always swoon over it thinking it is more than it really is (I think it is the whole swirl thing - LOL!).

Thanks for inspiration for tomorrow!
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