Making Focaccia with a softer crust?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by shanibh, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. shanibh

    shanibh

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    Hi,

    I like my Focaccia with a lighter fluffier texture, and a softer crust

    I heard that spreading some butter on it right after the baking might do some of the work 

    I was wondering whether substituting some of the water part with milk can also help do the job? 

    Thanks!
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Tell us more about the recipe you're using and how you're baking it now. That will help us give better answers.
     
  3. shanibh

    shanibh

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    Don't have anything specific in mind, been a while since i've baked it, but basically it's (found an old recipe i used and turned out too of a tough crunch):

    1 Kg all purpose flour 

    25 gram yeast

    2 2/3 cups of water

    2 tbsp honey 

    1 tsp salt

    1/3 cup olive oil

    combine all together (add the salt at the end) , let rest for 1 hour till double the size, form in pan, let proof again for 30-45 minute

    bake for 20 minutes at 180c 

    i was thinking of adding 1 cup of milk instead of 1 of of the water, plus brushing it with butter when it goes out the oven

    any more thoughts? 

    Thanks again!
     
  4. ordo

    ordo

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    Two ideas:

    1. Cover the dough with aluminum foil for the first 15 minutes or so. Then uncover.

    2. Spray with water each 5 minutes once the dough raised.
     
  5. shanibh

    shanibh

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    Thanks! will try this!

    maybe have a pan with hot water to keep the oven moist? 
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd stay away from dairy mostly because it's not in the tradition of focaccia. 

    Another question about how you're handling the oil. Are you mixing all of that in the dough? Focaccia is normally a  broad flat "loaf" dimpled with the fingers and oil poured on top just before baking. The oil on top in cooking tends to keep the crust from getting too crusty. 

    If you did it that way and still had more crust than you like, let it cool from the oven in large paper sack. Or two large paper sacks with open ends nested together if it fits together better for you. This way the bread will retain more moisture and the steam from the fresh loaf will soften the crust some but not with the condensation of an airtigth seal like plastic or foil would give. 
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had the best success making focaccia with the recipe AND technique in The Herb Farm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld. 

    https://books.google.com/books?id=3...&q=herb farm cookbook focaccia recipe&f=false

    The steps of the Second Rise and Forming the Loaf are very helpful. You may have noticed that bread dough is stickier on the bottom after rising. It can't evaporate moisture like the top  can, and maybe some water is sinking a bit? Anyway, by inverting the dough this way, you have a wetter surface up top for the baking step. 

    I also like how his technique lets the oil and herb flavors penetrate what will be the crust during the second rise. I've taken to doing the second rise on large round tray or platter. i get a bettter form for my low skill level than using a large bowl. The downside is the dough tends to push the oil and herbs to the edges so you have a little restructuring to do. Try both and see what works for you. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  8. colin

    colin

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    Ditto!  I've also had success with the recipe in Reinhart's _Bread Baker's Apprentice_ which works along the same lines: a relatively wet dough developed slowly, which gives you a fluffy result.  I don't know what the hydration is in the recipe posted @3, but the method sounds like it will produce a tough bread.  Baking at a higher temperature also helps you end up soft plus crisp, rather than chewy.
     
  9. shanibh

    shanibh

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    Thanks Guys, appreciate all the help, lots of things to try here, will give them (probably more than one) shot...will get back if i get any breakthrough :)