Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 78: Herbed Focaccia Revisited.

Just a quick post today since I am off to get ready for the World Championship Cook offs. It should be a great day! Last night I decided to try more yeast bread in the DO. My last attempt failed miserably and I totally lost confidence so I haven't tried them since day 43. You can see that disaster here. If you remember, it was like eating cardboard but with less flavor. So I'm redeeming myself by trying it again. I made a few changes that I will add here.
Herbed Focaccia
14" dutch oven

3/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. warm water
3 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup potato flakes
3 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
2 Tbs. olive oil (I used melted butter)
3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary or 3/4 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
In a bowl, combine the water and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, using enough flour to make a soft dough, and knead well. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead for 1 minute. Roll out into a 14 inch circle (or a 15x10" rectangle if cooking indoors). Put dough in the DO and press it up the sides just a little. Cover and let rise 20-30 minutes. With a wooden spoon handle, make indentations a 1" intervals. Brush the dough with olive oil; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, rosemary and garlic salt. Bake at 400 degrees using 24 coals on top and 12 on the bottom for 13-15 minutes or until slightly browned (mine took closer to 20 minutes). Serves 8-10. It would probably be a good idea to take it off the bottom coals partway through cooking.
The Finished Product
What I Learned
Preheating the lid made all the difference this time. This wasn't the least bit stressful now that I have some experience under my belt. It is amazing how important the little thing are when you cook with DOs. Something very simple can make a big difference.
The Review
I AM TRIUMPHANT!!! This bread turned out light, soft and delicious. Compared to this version, the last one is an insult to cardboard. It was better in the DO this time than it has ever been indoors. This success has renewed my confidence in myself and my bread making abilities, so I predict more breads in my future! I'm giving this bread a B, but only because I've found one that I like even better. I'll post it soon!


  1. Looks great. I rotate the pots about a quarter turn every 10 minutes or so when cooking breads. That way you don't get hot spots on the bottom crust.
    I also clean my dutch oven with soap and water every time I use them. I own a restaurant and the sanatize training makes me just have to wash them. Then I put them over heat and wipe down with Crisco. Haven't ruined one yet and the bread doesn't taste like the sloppy Joe's I made the time before.

  2. I need to be better about rotating my pots. I don't do it like I should. It will be really important as the weather gets hotter, so I need to start getting into the habit.

  3. I'm glad you've been able pull off a bread! I know just how hard that can be. It took me a lot of tries to get a successful yeast bread. Woo Hoo!

    Sorry I missed you by one day at the WCCO, too!

  4. Mark--I will be a the spring convention doing the taste of dutch. I hope to see you there!
    Thanks for the "Woo Hoo"! I know you know how nice it feels to have a yeast bread work in the DO!


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