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focaccia veneta

Focaccia Veneta

  • Author: Flavia Scalzitti

Description

Adapted from Giallo Zafferano

Special equipment: stand mixer with dough hook; kitchen scale; 7-inch (18 cm) round paper panettone baking mold

Wash the stand mixer work bowl, measuring implements, utensils, and bowl used for rising the dough in between each rise to keep all the implements properly sanitized and to ensure accurate measuring at each step of the process. 


Ingredients

  • 250 grams (1¾ cups + 2 Tablespoons) bread flour
  • 250 grams (1½ cups + 1 Tablespoon) “Tipo 00” flour
  • 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar, divided
  • 90 ml (6 Tablespoons) whole milk
  • 4 grams (1¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 100 grams (7 Tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 10 grams (1½ teaspoons) fine sea salt
  • 10 ml (1 Tablespoons) clear rum or Grand Marnier
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped of caviar
  • Zest of 1 orange (preferably organic)
  • Zest of 1 lemon (preferably organic)

Glaze:

  • 1 egg white (from 1 large egg)
  • 20 grams (3 Tablespoons) powdered sugar
  • Coarse sugar crystals

Instructions

Preparation of flour mix + first rise

  1. Sift both flours into a large bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the sponge: Spoon out 50 grams (¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons) of the flour mix into another mixing bowl and add 20 grams (1½ Tablespoons) of the sugar, all of the yeast, and whisk to combine. Add in all of the milk, pouring it into the dry ingredients in a steady stream, while mixing with a whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the oven (turned off) with the oven light turned on. Let the sponge rise for 1 hour until is has doubled in volume and bubbles have formed on the surface. The sponge will be wet and slightly sticky when finished rising.

Second Rise

  1. Put 150 grams (1 cup + 1 Tablespoon) of the flour mix and 20 grams (1½ Tablespoons) of sugar into the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add in the sponge and 1 egg, lightly beaten. Mix the dough on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, and then add in 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) of butter in two additions, waiting for the butter to incorporate completely after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary using a rubber spatula. As you add the butter, the dough will become shiny and smooth and may not wrap readily around the dough hook. Use your hands to gather it into the center of the work bowl to allow the dough to catch onto the dough hook. Continue mixing the dough on medium speed for another 6-7 minutes until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape it into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Return the bowl to the oven (turned off) with the oven light turned on, and let the dough rise for 4 hours until it is doubled in volume.

Third Rise

  1. Put 100 grams (¾ cups) of the flour mix and 20 grams (1½ Tablespoons) of sugar into the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add in the risen dough and 1 egg, lightly beaten. Mix the dough on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, and then add in 30 grams (2 Tablespoons) of butter in small amounts, waiting for the butter to incorporate completely after each addition. Continue mixing the dough on medium speed for another 3-5 minutes until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to a work surface and fold the dough over itself a few times before shaping it into a ball. The dough will be slightly sticky, but it will smooth out as you knead it. Place the dough in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Return the bowl to the oven (turned off) with the oven light turned on, and let the dough rise for 1 hour, until it is doubled in volume.

Fourth Rise

  1. Put 200 grams (1½ cups) of the flour mix, 40 grams (3 Tablespoons) of sugar into the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add in the risen dough, and 1 egg, lightly beaten. Mix the dough on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stop the mixer and add in the liquor, letting it absorb into the dough for about 1 minute. In the meantime, zest the orange and the lemon. Add the zests, salt, and the vanilla bean caviar to the dough and mix on medium speed to incorporate the ingredients. Add in the remaining 40 grams (3 Tablespoons) of butter in small amounts, waiting for the butter to incorporate completely after each addition. Transfer the dough to a work surface and fold the dough over itself a few times before shaping into a ball. Place the dough in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to let it rise for 15 hours.

Baking the Focaccia Veneta

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and fold the dough over itself a few times before shaping it into a ball. Place the ball of dough in the paper panettone mold. Return the dough to the  oven (turned off) with the oven light turned on, and let the dough rise for 2 hours until the dough has risen almost to the top of the mold. Remove the dough from the oven and let it stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes so the surface of the focaccia dries out slightly (this will allow a crisp crust to form when it bakes).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180°C).
  4. To make the glaze: Place the egg whites and powdered sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the ingredients until frothy but not firm. Set aside.
  5. Using a sharp knife or baker’s blade, cut a cross on the surface of the focaccia. Use a pastry brush to cover the surface of the focaccia with the egg white-sugar mixture. Cover the surface generously with the pearl sugar crystals.
  6. Bake the focaccia uncovered for 30 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown. Insert a cake tester into the center of the focaccia to test for doneness.. If the cake tester comes out clean in several areas, the focaccia is finished baking. If the cake tester does not come out clean, then cover the focaccia with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Remove the focaccia from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely. Peel away the paper mold carefully and place the focaccia on a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.
  7. Storage: Store the focaccia at room temperature on a platter covered with plastic wrap or on a covered cake plate. Eat within 2-3 days.