BBA Challenge - Focaccia!

I can't believe this worked.  

For Bake-A-Palooza Spring (er, summer) 2010 I decided to make a bread.  At previous BAPs, we stuck to sweets, until last spring when I broke out the Herbed Savory Cheesecake from Cookwise, which turned out to be a huge hit.  As I've been working through the Bread Baker's Apprentice, I decided it would be good to give the focaccia a try.  I'm really only somewhere in the Cs, but I wanted to do something savory but cinnamon rolls were next on the list... so I just picked something that sounded good :)

This bread was surprisingly easy, and I do think the fact that I was able to use the weekend to work the dough was definitely advantageous... not to mention the fact that the entire State of Florida is a giant proofing box right now (90+F and 100% humidity).  The dough rose beautifully.  

I started the poolish on Friday evening, letting it sit for about 3 hours before I covered it with a damp towel and aluminum foil and refrigerated it.  I pulled it out to get back to room temperature after Saturday morning's shoot with Ben & Kathy.  After it reached a reasonable temperature and all of the ingredients were combined by hand (i.e., with my bare hands - no utensils or mixers involved!), I did a series of three foldings and risings on the marble countertop in the kitchen.  This dough did not take any kneading at all.  

The herbed oil was made from fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil that I have growing here at the house. I followed the instructions and did two sessions of dimpling and oiling before putting it into the oven, which was heated to a ridiculous 500F.

When it came out, it was just beautiful and smelled great.  I was so excited that I finally achieved the correct crumb that I had to point it out to half of the attendees.  :)  It was a favorite at Bake-A-Palooza, even if it did turn my kitchen into a furnace.  In June.  In Florida.  Oy.

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