Of all the memorable loaves of bread that have come from the CVI Kitchen, no other has been so widely beloved as Dario's Focaccia. It is a gratifying marriage of crispy crust, chewy crumb, and incredible aroma. Loaves are easy to produce and even easier to consume.
The dry mix contained in this box will make a versatile dough that takes well to topping both prior and post-baking. As a result, it can be as expressive as you are willing to be. It shapes well into rustic batards and stretches beautifully for something closer to ciabatta. It will also work well for pan and wood-fired type pizzas. Of course, and most easily of all, this dry mix will produce Dario's Focaccia.
Dario's Focaccia Baking Mix
- 1 3/4 Cups Water
- 1 Bag Dry Mix
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 Tsp Yeast
- 1/4+ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Ice
For Mixing: (Using a stand mixer)
In the bowl of a 5-6 qt stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to combine the water, yeast, and honey or malt syrup for about 1 minute.
Replace the whisk with a dough hook, then add the corresponding amount of dry mix to the bowl. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes until a shaggy dough forms. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover it with plastic, and allow it to rest for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes have elapsed, return the bowl to the mixer and mix on low speed for 60 seconds. After 60 seconds, add 1/2 Tbsp addition of olive oil to the dough.
After mixing for 60 more seconds, add another addition of olive oil. Repeat the process once more to incorporate a total of 3 additions of olive oil.
Continue mixing at low speed until the oil appears well incorporated (about 1-2 minutes). Afterward, increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 3 more minutes.
After 3 minutes, increase the speed to high. Knead as long as is necessary for the dough to slap loudly around the bowl and pull cleanly away from the sides.
Once ready, transfer the dough to a large, generously oiled bowl for proofing. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or a lid. Ensure the container is large enough to comfortably hold the dough even if it has tripled in size.
Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for 50 minutes. After the 50 minute rest, perform a four edge fold. See CONSIDERATION 1.
Cover the dough as before and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.
After resting, repeat this complete process 2 more times, waiting 45 minutes between folds until you perform a total of 3 full folds.
After the third and final fold, allow the dough to rest for the last 45 minutes.
During this time, prepare the pans you will bake in by lining them with well-oiled parchment paper. Use additional olive oil as needed to coat the interior sides of the pans generously. (Optionally, you can use nonstick spray or softened butter before oiling the pans for superior results!)
Shaping & Proofing:
Gently distribute the dough into the pans. If baking multiple loaves, use a bench scraper or similarly shaped tool to portion the dough evenly.
You can ensure even distribution among baking pans if you have a scale.
Press dimples into the dough at roughly 1-inch intervals using wet or oiled fingers. Lightly cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to proof for 30-40 minutes in a warm place. See CONSIDERATION 4.
Position a metal baking pan on the bottom rack of your oven. See CONSIDERATION 2.
Preheat a convection oven to 435°F or a conventional one to 450°F.
Drizzle the 1/4 cup of olive oil per bag of dry mix evenly over the proofed dough. When the oven is preheated, get the ice cubes ready.
Transfer the pans of proofed dough to the oven racks. Quickly deposit the ice cubes in the preheated tray, then close the door.
Continue baking for 20 to 35 minutes total, or until the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 210°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the loaves from the oven. If serving immediately, do NOT turn the oven off.
If baking for future use, See CONSIDERATION 3.
Return the bare loaf to the oven, placing it directly on the oven rack. Bake for 6 more minutes or until the crust is crispy on all sides.
Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool until warm before using. Avoid the temptation to cut into the bread in the first 3-5 minutes. Waiting will allow the bread to be sliced or torn without sticking to itself.
To store, let cool to room temperature, then gently wrap in plastic. This bread will keep well on the counter for 2-3 days.
If you are warming or toasting it before consumption, it can stay safely in the fridge for up to a week.
1. 4 Edge Fold: Stretch then fold the left side of the dough approximately two-thirds of the way across itself (towards the right side). Stretch, then mirror the fold in the opposite direction. Repeat the process with the top and bottom sides of the dough. You just completed a four edge fold!
2. On Adding Steam During Baking: Please note, you need to add ice to the oven after loading for the best results. Doing so will provide steam during the baking process. To accomplish this, place a metal baking tray in the oven before preheating. DO NOT USE A GLASS BAKING PAN FOR THIS! The best place for this tray is on the bottom rack of the oven.
3. On Par-Baking The Loaf For Use At A Later Time: If you wish to par-bake this loaf, you can bake it to an internal temperature of 205°F and let it cool completely. Take it out from the baking pan, remove the parchment paper, wrap it gently in plastic film, and freeze. To use, thaw for at least 4 hours and bake until the internal temperature reaches 210°F.
4. On Overnight Fermentation: You can ferment the dough overnight for increased flavor, and to spread the workload over two days. To ferment overnight, cover the dough with an oiled lid or sheet of plastic wrap immediately after the last fold, then transfer it to the fridge. The following day, allow it to come to room temperature on the counter (about 2 hours) before proceeding as normal to SHAPING & PROOFING.