Sunday, September 21, 2008
After baking Rose's spectacular lemon bars on Thursday, it occurred to me that I hadn't made a bread from Rose's repertoire for a while, so I looked on the recipe section on her blog. I found this bread, which she posted in February of 2007 and is a variation of the bread she created for General Mills' Harvest King flour. I like the Harvest King flour, but even though Minneapolis is the home of General Mills, it's difficult for me to find it, so I used King Arthur bread flour. (Sorry, Rose).
This is the third bread I've made recently that's got mostly white flour with enough whole wheat flour to add flavor and give me the chance to feel mildly virtuous. I love the combination.
This focaccia is much, much easier to make than the rosemary focaccia in The Bread Bible. It's not nearly as wet, and it handles far more easily. Also, it doesn't require that 20-minute spin in the KitchenAid--the one that tests its motor to the limit. About 30 minutes into the dough's 90-minute rising period, you stretch out the dough and give it a business-envelope turn or two. You can see how manageable it is.
It's just a little bit sticky, but nothing to get excited about.
It's perfectly tractable when it comes time to pat it out into a rectangle. No cursing going on here.
I had so much confidence in this bread's ability to bake itself that I left the kitchen while it was baking to work on the Sunday crossword. Bake for five minutes, then turn it; another ten minutes and I went back into the kitchen. There was the focaccia, all brown and puffy.
Probably a little too puffy for authentic focaccia. It's definitely an Americanized version, but that's not meant as a criticism. The crumb is more even than an Italian focaccia, and there are fewer big, random holes.
But it was quite toothsome and delicious. We ate it, still warm, for a snack with a glass of Tempranillo in the afternoon; with grilled turkey breast and sliced tomatoes for dinner; and with leftover turkey breast and lettuce for a lunchtime sandwich today. Delicious as is, it requires no butter or olive oil to gussy it up. If I can ever find a bag of Harvest King flour, I'll try it again--just for the sake of science, of course.