(Please note: Since my last post there have been a number of funerals. It has been a tough couple of months. Vaya con Dios a todos.)
This is probably the best foccacia formula ever. Chef added caramelized onions on top, cooked in olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar, along with some herbage. The smell from the oven was intoxicating. When it was taken out of the oven and placed on the bread table, all the baking students came around and begged for a piece. In memory of Chef Gordon Chadwick, it is posted here. Muchas gracias a Chef. Enjoy!
FOCCACIA - yield one full sheet pan or two large cookie sheets
1/4 oz. instant yeast
18 oz. water
14 oz. bread flour
3 oz. instant potato buds, not flakes
2 oz. corn flour or semolina
1 oz. olive oil
1/4 oz. honey
1/4 oz. salt
dried oregano or basil, coarse salt, fresh rosemary sprigs, to taste
additional olive oil
Sponge - 5 parts AP flour and 6-7 parts water
Mix sponge, cover and let sit overnight in a large plastic bucket. Next day when ready, assemble equipment and all ingredients.
Use the straight dough method, which basically means to dump it all into the mixer at once. Mix with dough hook on medium speed to incorporate all ingredients. Place mixed dough onto a well oiled sheet pan and spread it out as far as it will go. Let rise in a warm place, preferably in an oven with the light on. After about an hour, remove dough and dimple the top with your fingertips. Sprinkle with herbage and a good amount of olive oil. Don't be stingy. The bottom crust will absorb the oil in the pan. Top with a generous amount of onions. Bake at 450 degrees F about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese and continue baking for another 5 minutes, so as to not burn the cheese. Let cool in pan, cut into squares and serve.