Does anyone else always want to spell this focaccia? I feel like that looks more right to me? Either way, it’s kind of a weird word to spell. (ETA: I just looked in the book and the book says Focaccia so I’m satisfied to know that my instincts are correct and that I am just lazy and went by what the internet told me instead of looking it up in a good ol’ book. Let’s heave a big depressed sigh for my generation). Earlier when we made the French version of this bread for French Fridays with Dorie, my husband pronounced it Fo-cachacha and now I always think of that when I see it and can’t stop laughing.
I’m just going to come right out and say that I had higher hopes for this bread. I suggested it for this month and was really pleased when it got picked but when it came right down to it, I was kind of disappointed. I think I had the texture of ciabatta in my mind for some reason, so when this was more of a flatbread I got kind of frustrated. But that’s not the recipe’s fault, that’s mine. So let’s quit talking about what I wanted this bread to be and start talking about what it really is. And what it is is kind of a huge time investment. This puppy needed 24-36 hours of rest time in the fridge so it was definitely delayed gratification. I did take one out after about 18 hours and bake it to go with a dinner I was making for the neighbors and it was good, but didn’t have as much flavor as the ones I left in the fridge for the full rise. It looked like this before the bake:
Obviously it had done some rising in the fridge, but it didn’t have those bubbles all over the surface like the book described. It did poof out some gas when I smooshed it though, so that was kind of fun.
This recipe allowed me to use so many of the great kitchen gifts I’ve received from my family: grignette from my mom, baking stone from Tristan, bread-rising bowl from dad, and this pizza peel from Mary. I also tried to use my Kitchenaid Artisan from Tristan to mix the dough but if anyone read the P & Q’s section for this recipe on Tuesdays with Dorie, you know that that didn’t work out so hot. Apparently I am going to have to explore the idea of getting a big sister for Candy the mixer and I’m kind of not best-pleased about it. Our Kitchenaid rep was great but I did not like the answers she gave me about what Candy can and can’t do.
The other two dough balls came to work with me the next day and got baked there on my makeshift baking stone made of quarry tiles. They definitely had little bubbles all over the top like the book describes:
Alas, these both got a little thin in some places so they got unattractive dark spots in the middle. Boo.
The outer edges were tasty though for sure and definitely had the right texture on the inside as well.
This bread was a science-y type kitchen experiment that is fun for me once, but not something I think I want to repeat. There are other breads that I like more that take less futz. If you want to give it a go, you can find the recipe on Sharmini’s blog Wandering Through.