Focaccia Master Class Video | Part 2: Mixing The Dough

The second part of our killer focaccia bread series involves a number of special steps which separate this focaccia recipe from all other more ordinary bread recipes.

If the key to great killer focaccia is a ciabatta-like very moist dough, how do we mix and pamper a wet and sloppy dough? How do you knead something that is sticky, tacky and flowing? My focaccia never leaves the 8 qt-salad bowl until it goes onto the baking sheet. A number of other home bakers have recommended this bowl technique and it is a great one.

My preferment/poolish begins in a smaller bowl but then is combined into the salad bowl where it is mixed with the other ingredients after 5 or 6 hours. I “knead” with a spoon or spatula, turning the dough over on itself 100 beats or turns. At this point, I carefully lift the dough with the spatula away from the bowl and oil the sides of the bowl.


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Focaccia Recipe Information

Preferment:

1 ¾ cups water (80 degrees)
¼ cup probiotic drink: Kombucha or bread drink
2 cups of flour.
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar.

Read the directions on the yeast package; some yeast needs to be dissolved in the water to make it active; other yeast is mixed directly into the flour. Both work, but read the directions! Mix together, consistency should be like a pancake batter. I cover the bowl and poolish with a plastic bag and set aside for 5 or 6 hours.

Dough:

1 cup water (80 degrees)
3 cups flour
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
Preferment from above.

The sugar is not absolutely necessary, but with home baking, we never know how much simple sugar from the damaged starch is available in the flour and adding sugar ensures the rising and the coloration of the focaccia. Mix as described above with about 100 beats of spoon, using a turning rather than a beating technique. Follow the dough rest and rising instruction, then bake in a very hot, 500 degree oven, turning the temperature down for the last 5 minutes of the 23-minute bake.

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Continue with Part 3: Stretch-And-Fold Method
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Comments

  1. I found your video very informative and the results I got when I made my focaccia was exactly what I wanted! Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  2. Thank you for the nice comment, Beth. This is really good news! :)

  3. Beth, I’m glad this worked out. I continue to work with sourdoughs and the focaccia recipe in an effort to go more whole grain yet still retain the spongy, open cell structure. If you work with sourdough, be certain to still use the poolish or preferment the day of the bake. Look for a short post on chocolate focaccia. george

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