Saturday, February 6, 2010

BBA Slow & Steady #13: Focaccia roundup

The Slow & Steady subgroup of the BBA Challenge continue to march - at a steady, if slow, pace - through the bread formulae in Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. The next bread for the group is Focaccia, that delightful, ever adaptable, flat bread. Despite some initial misgivings of a few bakers, in the end we all ended up loving our bread this round.

Natalia of Gatti, Fili e Farina was born in Roma, and she let us all in on the true scoop about this bread. In Italy this would be known as Pizza Bianca, a very common thing for children to pack for their lunches. She loved Peter Reinhart's version of her native bread and I can see why - just look (picture above) at the beautiful job that she did! Here's her post: BBA Slow and Steady: Focaccia.

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Throughout the course of baking bread from the Bread Baker's Apprentice, Leslie of Lethally Delicious has realized that it has been a life-changing experience. She finds it enormously gratifying to bake breads that people just can't resist eating, and the focaccia turned out to be just that kind of bread. Leslie used her good olive oil - a lot of it - which gave her bread a delicious flavor. I think Leslie speaks for all of the Slow & Steady bakers when she says, "I marvel over how a yeast-phobe like me could bake such an extraordinary treat." Read more on her post: BBA - Focacci-aaahh

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Margaret of Tea and Scones is quite happy that the list of breads she's "never baked before" is getting ever shorter, thanks to the BBA Challenge. Her focaccia turned out beautifully, thick and flavorful, nothing like the thin, tasteless stuff she'd eaten before.
Here's her post: Slow & Steady BBA - Focaccia

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Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker baked Reinhart's focaccia twice: the poolish version with white flour and the non-poolish version with part whole wheat. She loved them both, and couldn't choose which was best. Comparing her bread to bakery focaccia, she found the homemade bread "delicate and tender and flavorful, as opposed to tough and dry and bland." Here's the story of Sarah's bread: BBA Challenge: Focaccia.

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Baking focaccia reminded Jessica of The Singleton in the Kitchen of her father, who made Nick Malgieri's Focaccia regularly for dinner (a bit too regularly, apparently) when she was a teen. Jessica enjoyed learning Peter Reinhart's focaccia process (which differs from Nick's) and even though she ended up with extra-fluffy focaccia because she forgot one of the dimple/oil steps, she loved this bread. Read more at: BBA S&S: Globe Trotting Breads

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Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook had been procrastinating about making this bread, but the combination of a weekend off work and a potluck dinner with her Italian genealogy group provided the perfect circumstances to bake - and share - the focaccia. Di really enjoyed the bread, and the group must have agreed because it disappeared very quickly at the potluck! Read about her bread in this post: My Weekend Project.

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Karen, of the blog Shortbread The title of her post, called Wetter is Better Focaccia and Ciabatta says it all: Karen remade her ciabatta with gloriously hole-y results, and applied the wet dough lesson to her ciabatta, which also bubbled beautifully. Great work and thanks for the tips!

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Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table overcame a lingering case of Focaccia Phobia, and - of course - loved the bread when she summoned the courage to bake it. She learned that despite nine pages' worth of recipe, focaccia is relatively easy to make, and very different from the dull, artificial-tasting focaccia she'd eaten in the past. Read about her focaccia experience here: BBA: Foccacia.

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I baked a very small pan of focaccia - 1/6 of a recipe - and found the bread to be adorable and delicious as well. The outside was lightly crunchy and the inside tender. My post: Focaccia {bba}

Coming soon: the BBA Slow & Steady French Bread roundup.

8 comments:

Di said...

Great round-up, as always! Sound like everyone really enjoyed this one, once we all got around to making it. =)

Leslie said...

I love your round ups, Nancy! It always brings back fond memories of the bread and makes me want to make them again. The S&S bakers really outdid themselves on this one!

TeaLady said...

Such beautiful breads everyone made. Thanks for a wonderful roundup, Nancy.

Karen said...

Hmmm, I think I might still have some of this in the freezer. Going to look!

Kayte said...

I think my favorite thing of the Slow & Steady deal is your round-ups! It is such fun to see all of our breads together and to see what different interpretation and styling each person uses. I like how one recipe, in the hands of many, can take on many looks, so indicative of life, isn't it? Each bread so individualistic in its turn yet we all had the same instructions in our hands. Love this post...thanks so much for taking the time to round us all up and let our breads party together.

Laura said...

You guys make me want to get the book out and start the challenge again.

I have used the BBA recipe for focaccia and it was the best I have found so far.

Maybe I will make it today, yum!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Gorgeous round-up!
Focaccia has always been a favourite of mine.

natalia said...

Grazie Nancy !! I'd eat all of these wonders !!!!