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Credit: Karen Robinson, CCC, chef instructor/ACF liaison, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Sizzle, Spring 2013
18 oz. water
0.40 oz. instant yeast
11 oz. bread flour
1½ oz. olive oil
1¾ oz. sugar
16 oz. bread flour
0.75 oz. salt
2 T. chopped fresh herbs of choice
1. Make focaccia sponge: In medium bowl, combine sponge ingredients. With gloved hand, mix until incorporated. (It may be a bit lumpy, but that’s all right.) Place in proof box until sponge doubles in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Place sponge and remaining dough ingredients, except for herbs, in mixer with dough hook attached. Mix on speed 1 for 2 minutes. Add chopped fresh herbs. Mix on speed 2 for 4 minutes.
3. Line half-sheet pan with greased parchment paper; turn dough onto pan. Round the dough; place in proof box until it doubles in size.
4. Press out dough to cover tray. Brush with olive oil. Stipple; sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 400°F in deck or conventional oven until golden-brown, about 25 minutes.
5. Remove from oven; cool on wire rack. Cut bread into squares for the “perfect sandwich.”
6. Slice bread in half crosswise; dress with ingredients of choice. Top with remaining piece of bread; cut in half.
Notes: If you do not have access to a proof box, place bowl with sponge in warm spot in kitchen, such as near a warm stove, to allow to rise. This method will be much slower, but it still gets the job done. For the focaccia dough, added flavor components are limitless. Consider roasted garlic, either small pieces or pureed; olives; sundried tomatoes; etc.
1 half-sheet pan
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