Friday, August 1, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Focaccia - Avid Baker's Challenge

This month's Avid Baker's Challenge is Roasted Vegetable Focaccia, a flatbread topped with some of summer's bounty, zucchini and tomatoes. The choice of topping for this bread is designed to help use up the zucchini that abounds now, a vegetable I no longer need to grow myself since donations from my mother-in-law and friendly neighbours keep me well stocked!
You'll need to set aside a fair bit of time for this recipe, though most is inactive, since the dough requires a sponge that sits overnight first, then 2 proofs before it's even shaped, and once shaped, 2-3 hours for the final rise.  I replaced just over 1/3 (140g) of the all-purpose flour with multi-grain bread flour and omitted the milk powder since my usually lacto-ovo-vegetarian daughter is currently experimenting with veganism. 
The topping needs to be prepared far enough in advance that the roasted zucchini has cooled in time to arrange it on top of the shaped dough so I did this during the dough's first proof. I seasoned it simply with salt and pepper and a little dried basil. I omitted the onions from the recipe but added some minced garlic to the tomatoes towards the end of their roasting time.
The bread was quite tasty but not as holey as I thought it should have been, and it was strangely dry and lacking that chewy texture I associate with focaccia. I wonder if it would have benefited from an even slower rise overnight in the fridge after shaping, something I would have tried had I had the room for the sheet pan in the fridge - too many zucchini in there I think ;). Regardless, it worked as a base for the delicious roasted topping and the recipe did manage to put a dent in my zucchini stash!

The recipe can be found here if you'd like to try it. And do visit ABC to see everyone else's creations!

12 comments:

  1. Nice job, Zosia. It looks very appetizing :) I'll be making mine this weekend. Can't wait!

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    1. Thanks Hanaâ. The topping was particularly delicious. Looking forward to your post.

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  2. This looks like it came out beautifully. I love the sprinkling of fresh basil- what a nice touch!

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    1. Thank you, Trisha. I love basil and couldn't help myself ;)!

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  3. It looks so good I feel like taking a piece (a huge one) and biting into it.��
    Mine unfortunately did not turn out good, during the second proofing, the surface had craters all over. It has been a lot happening lately. Wonder why. Any ideas?

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    1. Thanks Sunita, it was pretty tasty!
      Craters? I haven't heard of that before. Have you checked the viability of your yeast? Is your kitchen quite warm and humid....is it possible that the dough is rising faster than it should and over-proofing/collapsing or perhaps too wet since you would need less water in humid weather? Was the gluten well developed after kneading (mine passed the windowpane test after 7 minutes in the stand mixer)?
      I'd love to know the answer if you ever find out.

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    2. I think it is the heat and humidity here. We are in the midst of monsoons and you have to experience Mumbai monsoons to know what I am talking about!!
      I think both the quantity of yeast and the dough being too wet were the culprit. Now I am using much less yeast to make my bread. I'd rather it take longer to proof than be pockmarked :-)

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  5. That looks absolutely delicious, and the colours are just right, save me a piece :-) :-)

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    1. Oh if you just send me your address :-) I will cover ..lol..:-)

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    2. Thank you, Rosa. It's so nice to hear from you!
      This one is long gone but I certainly have enough zucchini to make another. I'll let you know when it's done ;)!

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