Artisan Focaccia Bread Recipe - Easy But Good!
Recipe And Method For The Best Focaccia Bread In The World!
Easy to follow video instructions for making artisan focaccia bread with incredible flavor and texture. Germany-trained master baker George Eckrich of Whole Foods and Dr. Kracker fame explains how and why this focaccia bread recipe is the best ever. We learn a quick and easy way to make a sourdough starter (also called preferment, or poolish) for the depth of flavor and chewy texture associated with European artisan breads. A special trick by George allows us to have a perfect bread starter ready in only 6 hours, a process that normally takes at least 3 days!
You won't even need a mixer for this bread dough! Eveything is done by hand in a large bowl and the otherwise strenuous kneading procedure is replaced with an easy stretch-and-fold method. Let's get baking!
All Focaccia Bread Is Not The Same!
From dense and soft to crusty and chewy with an open pore crumb...
...of course there are thousands of bread recipes for everybody's taste and preferences, but what are the best qualities in a good loaf of bread? Let's ask George...
"What makes breads great? The quick and easy response is flavor and texture. But when we say flavor, do we mean their taste or their aroma? Remember that we can only taste four basic flavors: sour, sweet, salt and bitter, and a fifth, called umami, that has been recently described. Part of great bread is the manipulation of these five flavors, especially the sweet and bitter that can be found in an over-the-top crust where caramelized flavors predominate."
European artisan bread bakers have understood it for thousands of years: good bread begins with a carefully nurtured bread starter - a first batch of flour, yeast, sugar and water allowed to ferment before we begin with the actual bread dough. George says, "Killer focaccia begins with a preferment. A preferment is a catch-all term for sponges, sourdoughs and poolishes, these are standard ways bakers create more flavor. My normal poolish for focaccia is two cups of water, two cups of flour (1/4 cup of which is whole spelt flour-bacteria prosper with whole grains just like the human body- and 1 Â¾ cups regular white bread flour), 1 tablespoon of sugar to nourish the yeast and 1 package of dry yeast. These ingredients ferment for 5 to 6 hours, depending on my program for the day, and this poolish creates a pleasantly sweet, yeasty aroma as well as a spongy texture - but no sour notes. My insight was to replace Â¼ cup of the water with a German bread drink ( Brottrunk) which is like kombucha and rich in lactobacillus bacteria."
Both the German bread drink and kombucha are probiotic drinks with live but inactive bacteria. These bacteria are inactive because there is no more simple sugars for them to metabolize; they only need a new sugar medium to begin flourishing again. The flour in the recipe provides their food source, and the bacteria immediately awaken and acidify the poolish. Normally, a sourdough will take several days to start and will involve multiple feedings or builds. Easy enough to schedule in the bakery, but not at home. The beauty of using probiotic drinks like bread drink or kombucha is that during this 5 or 6 hour preferment they will not be able to overwhelm the yeasty flavor that is totally pleasant and very umami. At the same time, they will provide the missing sour note that tickles both the tongue and the nose. Moreover, this acidity will help improve the dough extensibility and create a more porous and intriguing structure of the crumb.
Meet Our Focaccia Bread Teacher George Eckrich - George wants to feed the world with healthy food!
We chat while we wait for the focaccia dough to rise...
Best Focaccia Bread Recipe - Step 1 - Making the preferment or poolish
Best Focaccia Bread Recipe - Step 2 - Mixing the dough
Best Focaccia Bread Recipe - Step 3 - The stretch-and-fold method
Best Focaccia Bread Recipe - Step 4 - Topping and baking
Focaccia Bread Recipe
1 Â¾ cups water (80 degrees)
Â¼ cup probiotic drink: Kombucha or bread drink
2 cups of flour.
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup water (80 degrees)
3 cups flour
(you might want to use 3 1/2 cups first, until you have more practice!)
1 package dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
Preferment from above
Please let us know how you like our method or if you know a better one, ok?