|Image &Recipe Courtesy of Gattina Cheung|
- 200 g flour
- 170 ml water
- 5 g fresh yeast
- 820 + 100 g flour
- 20 g fresh yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 20 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 30ml vegetable oil
- 430 ml water, lukewarm
- for flavoring the bread, I used: 10 pcs of sun dried tomato, 3 tsps of black olive paste, 1/4 onion, and 2 tsps of dried oregano
In a large bowl, stir to combine 200 g flour, 170 ml water and 5 g yeast. Cover, leave it in a very cool place (or the lowest shelf of refrigerator) for half day. It should almost triple to its volume.
In another very large bowl, use a wooden spoon stir to combine the yeast mixture from point 1, 820 g flour, 20 g yeast, 430 ml water, salt and the two oils. Place the 100 g of flour aside, you’ll use it to dust the hands and table during kneading. Turn the dough on the table, knead it about 10 minutes. The dough is very soft and sticky. In order not to be tempted to add excessive flour (more flour, less moist interior of the bread), scrap the work table and your hands clean from time to time, and lightly dust the table and your hands often. Grease a very large bowl and a piece of plastic film, place the dough inside the bowl, cover with the plastic, proof in a cold place for a few hours.
Soak the dried tomatos until soft, then finely dice them. Dusk the work table, turn the dough out, add in tomato, finely diced onion, olive paste and oregano, knead a few times. Return the dough to the bowl (pre-greased), proof it overnight in the fridge.
Next morning, turn the dough out and divide into two portions (or any numbers that fit your tray’s size). We don’t need to knead the dough, in fact, we have to save as many air bubbles as we can. Grease your baking trays, add some fine cornmeal to the bottom as optional, put the dough inside. Dip your finger to the oil, then press the dough until it reachs the corners of the tray (which can’t be achieved at once as the dough is still cold and stiff, but just keep doing it every 5 minutes or so, and remember to cover the dough whenever you aren’t working on it). Once the dough spreads out to the corners, let it proof until it looks very puffy.
Bake the bread in (pre-heat) hot oven 180 – 190 degrees for 25 minutes.
After the foccacia completely cools off, you can cut some up to single serving portions and freeze them for future consumption
To see More from Gattina Cheung, visit her blog at http://gattinamia.blogspot.com/