Focaccia Bread

by - July 20, 2017






This is a very simple and easy Focaccia Bread recipe without starter dough. I got this recipe from my hubby’s good friend who invited us to his place for Christmas eve dinner.  He is an excellent baker and made this bread for us along with a sumptuous dinner.  I must say his baking and cooking is restaurant standard!

It is advisable to read the following notes before starting baking.

GENERAL NOTES:

KNEADING TIME
For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

OVER KNEADING
Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

FLOUR
The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

HYDRATION
The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

PROOFING
Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. Or if the dough springs back slowly, like it’s waking up from a long nap, and your prod leaves only a small indentation, it’s ready to go.
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
WRINKLE TOP OR SHRINKING
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

BAKING
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Focaccia Recipe 


INGREDIENTS:

500g bead flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
320ml to 350ml warm water
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp kosher salt for sprinkling
Some olive oil to drizzle on top of the bread
Dried rosemary
Dried basil
Dried thyme

Utensil:  23cm X 30cm oblong baking pan


METHOD: 
  1. Add all ingredients (first add salt, flour, sugar, yeast, olive oil and lastly 320ml warm water) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together and achieve window pane stage (when stretch the dough you should be able to see thin membrane). It takes around 10 to 15 minutes. If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Some bread flour absorbs more water.
  2. Then let the dough complete the first round of proofing, about 60 minutes until double in size.
  3.  Grease the pan with olive or any vegetable oil.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to the greased pan then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to dimple the dough then drizzle or spray the top with the olive oil and sprinkle with dried herbs and kosher salt.  Let the dough rise for another 30 to 45 minutes until double in size.
  5. 15 minutes before baking, turn on the oven to 210 C. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.

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