Friday, May 18, 2012

Focaccia has been on my 2012 short list of foods to try.  It's also one that I earmarked in Peter Reinhart's book several years ago, but never got around to testing.  I just love the spongy texture and salty flavor of focaccia.  When I woke up to a rainy Saturday morning, I knew it was the perfect day to give it a shot.  As with most of Reinhart's breads, it's a 2 day process, but I still took the dive back into the bread making deep end.

I started by making the herb oil, which is used to essentially baste the bread with a flavor infusion.  I had never thought about making a flavored oil, but this method is very straight forward.  My herb garden has a lot of  oregano and some basil right now, so I tossed in some fresh leaves of both to make up the 1 cup needed for this recipe. Then, I set to work on the bread.  The instructions are fairly straight forward. As with most bread recipes, there's a lot of proofing, so you'll want to pick a day where you are home for a bit.  The recipe also says that you can't add enough herb oil, but I disagree.  I used a little less than was called for and even then I had some oil running out of the pan into the oven, which of course resulted in smoke and alarms!!!  Thankfully, the bread came out just right and even got better the next day.   

Picture of the dough before refrigeration for 48 hours.  I took other pictures that aren't uploading correctly. 

Verdict:  I made the dough on Saturday and didn't back until Tuesday due to other commitments.  The extra time in the fridge really helped the herb oil's flavor to penetrate the bread.  I'll definitely make this again albeit with less oil!

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