Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No-Knead Focaccia

The nearby grocery store makes the best deli sandwiches around.  The rolls they use are crusty but not hard, just thick enough, and just dense and soft enough.  Next time I buy one I'll be sure to take a picture before devouring the deliciousness!

I've been on a mission to find a recipe for similar rolls so I could enjoy fresh bread and a good sandwich at home anytime.  I love the cooking blog Budget Bytes and remembered the website several recipes for bread.  After looking through each one, I narrowed it down to either focaccia or ciabatta bread.  I absolutely love focaccia and, though it's not exactly what the grocery store deli uses, decided to make a (half) batch!

I began with the No-Knead Focaccia recipe from Budget Bytes.  For my first batch, I decided to make only half the recipe just to be sure the bread wouldn't go stale (yeah, right!  It barely lasted 2 hours).  I used half whole wheat flour and half white pastry flour, since it's all I had on hand and I figure the lightness of pastry flour may help balance the heaviness of the wheat.

After only 10 hours rising, my dough had expanded from a tiny ball to a large, sticky mass!  Next time I will definitely allow for 14-16 hours of rise time but today I was so excited to sink my teeth into some fresh bread that I just couldn't wait any longer!!

I decided to make small sandwich-size rolls instead of a large loaf.  The half-recipe made six and I thought I'd top each one with a different combination of herbs/seasonings so I could decide which I liked best!  I have Italian seasoned, rosemary and kosher salt, sesame seeds, Italian plus garlic, rosemary plus garlic, and Parmesan plus black pepper.

After an hour and a half the dough had expanded even more!  Good thing I only made a half-batch -- my pan is even too small for six rolls!  I poked small indentations in each one with my index finger and put the rolls in the oven to bake.

Warm, crusty rolls fresh from the oven, ready to be part of the perfect sandwich!

I was relieved the ratio of wheat and white flour worked out favorably.  Next time I make this I will definitely increase the rise time, which will only make the bread even fluffier!  Yum!

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