Notes On A Flatbread: Act Two
I’m fighting the urge to flog myself over this recipe, maybe get myself to the nearest confessional and beg forgiveness for failing Dan again … particularly after seeing that most people are producing cookery book perfect focaccia. Mine looks lovely and golden, and yes it did have crunchy crust that I could only dream of prior to this, but all that said … what I have is a very photogenic creation that gave me a whopping case of indigestion because it was too rich from the olive oil. Dan’s fault? Certainly not. It’s my fault entirely.
How much olive oil qualifies under the term “generous” — a tablespoon, 100ml, a supertanker full? Obviously not as much as I used. My focaccia had a hint of roadside-café fried bread about it because it sizzled away in the oven awash with olive oil. I see that Carl Legge used water for stretching and folding, and parchment paper during baking. Another challenger mentioned she might use flour instead of oil during the stretching and folding process because she interpreted ‘generous’ too generously also.
Unlike my first attempt, several things did go better. I adjusted the amount of water to correspond with Dan’s recipe in the Guardian rather than “Short and Sweet” because the hydration rate in the book is 56% as opposed to 68% in the Guardian article. This, in my opinion, explains the pillow-flatbread result from my first attempt. I must say that the 56% hydration recipe produced a darned tasty loaf of bread though – it just wasn’t flatbread.
I’m going to give this recipe one more try this week, and if it still makes me look like a monkey in the kitchen, I shall shout to the heavens “croutons!”
After second rise. Even at this point, there was too much olive oil.
This time I pushed my fingers all the way to the base of the pan and then tugged the dough toward me to make large holes that would rise into dimples.
A picture pretty much says it all. The crumb was not worth writing home about, that’s for sure.