Last week I went to New York City for a cooking class with Chef Nick Maglieri, author of many food books and great chef. The class ‘ Baking and Cooking with Nick Maglieri’ was about making hearty winter breads, soups and desserts and was just fantastic!!! So I learned how to make this splendid focaccia, with a golden crunchy crust outside, soft to the bite inside..
A good focaccia is so familiar to many Italians. We eat it all the time, as a snack in the afternoon or a as bread sandwich for lunch. In my childhood memories a good warm slice of focaccia, fresh out of the oven sprinkled with a touch of olive oil and some coarse salt, was the best thing I could eat ever!!! The smell of the rosemary on the warm bread was an addictive delight….I would walk to the baker as soon as I could and snack on it on the way back.
So my friends, here is Chet Nick’s recipe of this simple friendly Italian treat…
The Ingredients for the dough :
- 3 cups unbleached all flour (use a dry measure cup and level off)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2/3 of 1 cup barely warm tap water. about 105 degrees
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- coarse salt
How we made it :
- Start by chopping the rosemary and add it to the flour.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer add the water and add the yeast, wait 30 seconds and whisk in the oil. Using a large rubber spatula, stir in the flour with rosemary and salt.Make sure all the flour is mixed into the liquid and there is any trace of flour clinging on the sides of the bowl.
- Place a hook at the mixer with the dough and mix on low speed for 3 to3 minutes, until the dough is somewhat elastic at the touch. Remove the bowl from the mixer then cover with a plastic wrap and let the dough ferment until has about doubled in size, at room temperature for an hour or so.
- Once the dough is risen, scrape it onto a prepared clean baking sheet ( you can use and line with an unbleached parchment paper), without folding it over itself. Oil your hands and press to cover the pan entirely. Cover all with plastic wrap and allow to rise again until is puffy for about an hour.
- 20 minutes before the dough is fully risen, preheat your oven (not convection) at 425 degrees and place the a rack at lowest level of the oven.
- Use the pad of your index finger to dimple the dough at about, every 1 inch of intervals, then drizzle with olive oil and a good sprinkle of coarse salt.
- Bake the focaccia until is well risen, the dough is baked through and the focaccia well golden brown for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Slide the focaccia on a rack to cool. Serve anytime.
Note : you could use a pizza stone for the baking if you own one!
Nick Maglieri kneading the dough…