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Old 04-23-2012, 12:40 AM   #1
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Failed Focaccia

I followed a recipes that I have made with great results many times. I did make some changes to the recipe this time, but only by removing the "Italian" seasonings and swapping out 1 cup of AP FLOUR for 1 cup of white whole wheat flour. It just didn't rise and it became very hard and toast like when it was baked. Would the W.W. Flour cause this lack of lift in my loaf?
Thanks B

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:42 AM   #2
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Ba I will say no more than Focaccia is a very difficult bread to get right.Watch this vid use the weights and method exactly and you will get fantastic authentic results. Scousers do not lie and this is a fellow scouser and the best British bread baker there is.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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No, swapping flour would not have done that--more likely your yeast failed you. Did you proof it first? To proof, use some of the liquid from the recipe, put the yeast in and add a pinch of flour and a pinch of sugar. The yeast should get foamy after about 10 minutes. If it doesn't, your yeast is dead and you need to buy some fresh yeast.

Yeast can also by killed by water that is too hot, or by direct contact with salt.

Try again--nothing beats fresh bread, no matter what shape.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
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I followed that video that bolas posted with great results. Don't be suprised when you see just how wet the dough is. It can be hard to handle so use lots of olive oil.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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Whole wheat flour will effect the bread. It's not evident what portion of the total flour you replaced. If you ended up with a 50/50 blend of AP and WW, for example, any bread can end up flatter. This is because the WW flour contains less gluten producing protein.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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@ Barry: Focaccia With Sage Recipe

Deriving its name from the Latin word FOCUS, which means HEARTH, FOCACCIA Evolved from unleavened hearth cake eaten during the Middle Ages.

While it is something of a national bread, its origins are from Genoa.

Makes 1 Focaccia:

FOR THE SPONGE:
1/2 cup warm water 115 degrees farenheit
1 tsp dry yeast
3/4 unbleached all purpose flour

FOR THE FOCACCIA:
1 cup warm water 115 degrees farenheit
1 tsp dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 2 tblsps Evoo
3 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 tblsps dried sage or fresh herb sage
3 tsps fine sea salt

FOR THE SPONGE ( DOUGH ):

1. Place one half cup water in large bowl
2. stir in yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and mixture is cloudy, about 10 mins. Stir in flour and cover with a plastic wrap. Let stand until very bubbly about 45 mins.

FOR FOCACCIA:

1. Place one cup water in small bowl and stir in yeast.
2. let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture is cloudy about 10 mins.
3. stir dissolved yeast and 1/4 evoo into sponge in large bowl
4. stir in 1 cup flour and stir 2 tblsps chopped sage and 2 tsps salt
5. add remaining flour in 2 batches, mixing until well blended after each addition
6. turn out dough onto floured work surface
7. knead dough until soft and velvety 10 mins.
8. oil a large bowl and add dough, turning to coat with Evoo and cover with plastic wrap until the dough doubles 1 hr and 15 mins. Keep in warm draft free place.
9. Oil an 11x17 inch baking sheet and punch dough down
10. using oiled hands, press out dough to cover the bottom of baking sheet and cover dough with a kitchen towel and let stand 10mins. The dough will shrink.
11. press out dough again to cover pan. cover with towel and let it rise in draft free place another 1 hr.
12. meanwhile, position rack, in oven centre
13. preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit
14. using fingertips press dough all over and create dimples. Drizzle dough with 2 tblps oil and sage and sea salt.
15. place pan directly on a pizza stone or a baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp; spraying with Water and twice more spraying with water during 1st ten minutes and the 25 mins is total time to bake.
16. serve warm

I hope this works out for you.

Have nice evening.
Margaux. Cintrano.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barryl.ashworth View Post
I followed a recipes that I have made with great results many times. I did make some changes to the recipe this time, but only by removing the "Italian" seasonings and swapping out 1 cup of AP FLOUR for 1 cup of white whole wheat flour. It just didn't rise and it became very hard and toast like when it was baked. Would the W.W. Flour cause this lack of lift in my loaf?
Thanks B
I agree with the earlier comment, it's not your flour--it's your yeast. I use honey to sweeten my focaccia, and start by mixing 2 T. honey with 1/4 C. warm water (a bit warmer than body temperature) and mix in my yeast, let it sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will be bubbly when ready to use. If it doesn't get bubbly then there's something wrong with the yeast.

(My recipe continues on with 100% bread flour, more water, salt, EVOO, savory ingredients, spices like basil or rosemary, etc.)

Also ambient temperature has a lot to do with rising time. If you have attempted to rise your bread in an unusually cold ambient then it will take much longer. I recommend no cooler than comfortable room temperature, or even a bit warmer (e.g. in oven with only pilot on).

Don't bake it until you've got a reasonable rise out of it.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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What was the ratio of whole wheat to AP flour? Whole wheat takes time to hydrate and doesn't produce gluten near as fast. It could be you just never got enough gluten formed to hold the CO2.

Your yeast might also be the suspect. Depending on age.

You might try bread flour instead of AP flour. It is a higher protein % and allows more gluten to form. That might offset the whole wheat in that regard.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:11 PM   #9
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I have bought some gluten to add to my all purpose flour when I make breads, focaccia, pizza. I ended up buying it on amazon because I couldn't find it in the stores here. I love the taste of it and the chewiness of the bread is fantastic. I used to make breads without extra gluten added--not anymore, the dough is just so nice and elastic and it rises nicely holding in the bubbles.

Also I use yeast that has been frozen to keep it fresh, usually a pound or two in a package. It proofs nicely for at least a year that way.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #10
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I never heard of adding gluten. More often you hear of people who don't want it. Glad I'm not one of them. I guess those who don't want it don't have the luxury of choice.
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