Spoiler alert: rotten puns ensue. Consume this post at your own risk.
The Tuesdays with Dorie baking group is back, this time with Foccacia – or faux cacia, as my family likes to call it. This seems appropriate, since I was feeling rather inauthentic when I basically used the bread as a palette for pizza toppings.
With a 24-hour resting period, the recipe at first appeared a bit faux-midable. But as a master-baker of bread, I thought I’d be able to rise to the challenge.
My Kitchen Aid was not much help with this one. After a minute of unbeatable motor-churning noise, I folded. The nascent focaccia dough and I had a brief en-counter, and after ten minutes of manual manipulation, the mixture succumbed un-dough by touch.
Fast forward to day two. After the rising and resting period, I realized I had a lot of dough on my hands. And on my shirt. So I divided two of the balls in half to make a total of four smaller breads, and I pitched the third dough ball into the freezer. Then I changed my shirt.
The only creative opportunities with this bread arose from the thousands of available toppings. If I were a menu-author, here’s what the final master-pizzas would be called at my restaurant (which of course would be rolling in dough):
- The Salty Tree: Fresh herbs, olive oil and lots of sea salt
- The Halitosis: Roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, herbs, olive oil and salt
- The Big Fat Italians: Meatballs, mushrooms, and a cheese blend of asiago, Parmesan and parmeggiano reggiano – one with homemade marinara sauce, one without (kids’ choice).
I completely mist the point of the steaming instructions, which called for spraying down the sides of the oven three times. It seemed like knead-less risk in the heat-maintenance department, so I chose a more temperate path.
Early in the baking process, I simply hurled (hailed?) some ice on the floor of my ancient oven, hoping that sooner or later I’d commit enough appliance crimes to warrant investment in a new oven. No luck. The oven, and the bread, weathered the storm.
Though it was heartily gobbled by all (who’s gonna’ squawk at fresh bread?), this recipe was somewhat faux-gettable.