Focaccia - Two Ways

"New from the Kitchen"
Recipe of the Month - November 2017

Accompaniments: Focaccia - Two Ways

One of the favorite things the students do in cooking school is making Focaccia, a real hands on recipe.

We switch back and forth between one that is traditional Italian and a milder French version, depending on what the range of items we are doing in the class.

It make a great bread to eat with a little extra virgin olive oil and it make terrific sandwiches. We also use it at the Inn as the base for the breakfast BLT (see the March 2009 recipe of the month).

While it has a fair amount of ingredients it is easy to make and freezes well.

For Focaccia:

4 cups high gluten flour
2 cups semolina
4 tsp sugar
2tsp salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons yellow corn meal
2 ½ cups water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt

For Italian:

2 tablespoons rosemary
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons dried onion
2 tsp dried garlic
½ Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sundried tomato(diced)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

For French:

3 tablespoons dried onion
1 tsp dried garlic
2 tablespoons herbs de provence
½ tsp lavender flowers
½ cup Gruy√®re cheese

In a stand type mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add first the olive oil in a stream and then the water all at once.

Mix on low until combined then allow mixer to run for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the bowl to a floured work table and turn to coat, cover and let rise until doubled in volume, approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Punch down and let rest 10 minutes.

Shape as desired and place in pan which has a light coating of yellow corn meal.

Dimple surface with fingers. Combine 1/4 cup butter & olive oil and pour over bread using fingers to even it out.

Allow to rise for 30 - 45 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 350 degrees. Check at 25 minutes and turn pan if necessary.