Woo hoo time for another weekly installment of “As the Bread Proofs” (please read that sentence using your best cheesy soap opera monologue guy voice)….
Without fail we had to make focaccia on the freaking hottest day of the year. Since we are two foodies trapped in a kitchen we decided it would be a great idea to caramelize some onions (cipoolini, sweet red Italian, white, shallot, spring onions and then my favorite garlic which is a Romanian red) to top the focaccia and hell why not can 12 jars of pickles all while waiting for the oven to come up to a sweltering 500 degrees. This made the kitchen a wonderfully cool and refreshing 95 degrees.
However, it was well worth the insane heat and once the focaccia was out of the oven we damn near burned our mouths and hands tearing into it. Definitely a bread we will be making again especially as the garden starts to produce more (looking at you Mr. Tomato).
The actual assembly of the bread it was pretty straight forward and yes this is another one of Peter Reinhart’s famous two days to make bread. Unlike most of the breads this one actually had most of the work being done on the first day (most of the time the first day is just throw this stuff together till it resembles pancake batter and let it sit on the counter). This one we were beating, kneading, proofing, folding, and shaping fools on day one. The second day was the simple day which was just bring out of fridge let it double, top, and shove in oven.
Oh yeah besides topping with the caramelized onions we also grated a large amount of Parmesan cheese and threw that on the focaccia during the last five minutes of baking.
If you are curious the tomato “salsa” is nothing more than tomato, olive oil, sweet pepper, clove of garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.
If you are interested in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge our fearless host is Nicole at Pinch My Salt and you can read more about it clicking here.