Thursday, January 01, 2009

Anchovy and Olive Focaccia

C says:

As you can tell, I’m in somewhat of a savoury baking craze. I figure that even though it’s still essentially a carb and a fair amount of olive oil is involved, it’s still healthier than butter and sugar in cakes, cookies and muffins. At least I get to satisfy my baking obsession without any (or rather, less) guilt.

My new goal is to make a light yet crisp focaccia that I can adapt with various toppings. The one I made at Christmas was a tad too dense and heavy for my liking. My first attempt at this Anchovy and Olive one was yesterday but it was such a spectacular failure that I had to do it again today, just to stop myself from obsessing about it. Yesterday’s ended up sticking to the damp towel as it was rising so it was a complete mess and essentially was just a hard flatbread. Today at least it rose nicely but somehow the crust was still a bit too hard and crisp. You can tell from the picture which one is which, haha.

The only problem with making breads is the rising that’s involved. The actual preparation and baking is fairly minimal, but because it entails 2 risings of about an hour each, you pretty much have to be home for a 5-hour stretch, even though you can leave it alone and do something else for about 75% of the time.

Anyway, now I’m obsessed with thinking of new focaccia pairings/toppings. So far I’ve done Sundried Tomato and Parma Ham, and Anchovy and Olive. I’ve brainstormed a bit and I’d like to do a Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone Cheese one, as well as something with gorgonzola, though I’m not sure what to pair the latter with. Any suggestions, or ideas for alternative toppings?

A says:

Nowhere near as good as C’s very first batch of sundried tomato and parma ham focaccia.

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