Monday, November 28, 2011

I accidentally made focaccia

I hope you have all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I had a very relaxing time. Not only did I accidentally make Focaccia bread, it actually tasted good. If you are wondering how I did that...

It all started one weekend  when the little curly haired boy came and requested a vegan option for pizza for his class party on Wednesday. Me feeling in the loving mother role promised to  make him a pesto  pizza.  I had visions of being kitchen goddess and making pizza absolutely from scratch. So I hunted down pizza dough recipes, decided it was a piece of cake and procrastinated until Tuesday night. I came home, measured out the dry ingredients - flour, salt and yeast and then proceeded to walk the dogs.I came back, started dinner and proceeded to add the water. Unfortunately or fortunately, I trusted my now fuzzy judgement and measured out an insane quantity of water and proceeded to confidently pour it into the bowl with the flour. Oh no!! this did not look right, it looked way too watery almost like pancake batter. So i added some more flour and then some more and then some more. Just to be sure, I added more yeast too then proceeded to knead it lightly on a floured counter and left it to rest. After the initial panic, I remembered reading something about Focaccia dough being sticky. I looked at Focaccia recipes on Holy Cow- no mention of sticky dough. I panicked, then a quick look at the Smitten Kitchen and yes - SK talks about focaccia dough being sticky.
So I patted the dough into a nine inch cake pan, pricked it with a fork, dabbed some pesto on it and stuck it in a 450 deg oven. And voila it baked into Focaccia!!!

Unbelievable but every bit of it is true. Now if you ask me to reproduce it, that is a different blog post.

The recipe or how to ham it ( modified from the Smitten Kitchen) makes 1 loaf.

1.5 c of flour
3/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Olive oil
1.5 c of warm water

More flour
More yeast

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the Olive oil and most of the water till the stuff in the bowl looks like pancake batter. Now add flour to make it look like pizza dough. You will fail, so add some more. When it looks somewhat like dough (still very sticky) put it in an oiled bowl and allow it to rise for at least  2 hours. Punch it down. Grease a round cake pan and pat the dough into it. Use your fingers to pat it into the corners. Prick the top with a fork.  Add your toppings.
Now preheat your oven to 450. When the oven is ready, pop the bread in and bake for about 18 mins. After 18 mins,  take the bread out of the oven and tap it. If you are not sure the sound is hollow enough, bake directly on the oven rack for another 2 or 3 minutes. Cool fully.
Slice in half and make sandwiches.

Some Focaccia topping ideas:

Caramelized onions
Nutty Cilantro Pesto
Sea Salt, Oregano and Pepper

1 comment:

  1. Tibik-- I was smiling as I imagined you battling that sticky dough. :) Looks like you did fine in the end. After all, most great inventions do start out as accidents.
    The last foccacia recipe I remember making-- from Tal Ronnen's book-- actually required the dough to be rather stiff.