Rating: 5 stars 4.9
10 Ratings
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I was very excited to try this high-hydration focaccia, which simply means the dough has a lot of water. In fact, this has the highest amount of water used than any other Food Wishes dough. It holds big bubbles in the baked dough and because of the long fermentation time, has a far superior flavor.

Recipe Summary

prep:
45 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
16 hrs 40 mins
total:
17 hrs 55 mins
Servings:
12
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Just because a bread recipe is "no-knead" doesn't mean it's no work. It just means we don't knead, which is definitely the case here, since this dough is way, way too wet for that kind of thing, but we do fold, and stretch, and turn, and pull, and wait, and wait, and wait. So, if you were looking for fast and easy, this is not the video recipe for you, but if you want to enjoy the bubbliest, highest-hydration focaccia you've ever had, then get ready for a wet and wild ride.

I forget how I stumbled down the high-hydration dough rabbit hole on YouTube, but I was subterranean for quite a while. I must have watched 20 videos for various loaves before deciding to make this focaccia, which I thought would work perfectly for a non-traditional twist on panzanella.  Okay, I just remembered why I was looking at high-hydration doughs. Anyway, while it wasn't like any other focaccias I've ever had, it was really good, and very fun to eat. Fresh, and in panzanella form.

The beauty of a dough with this much water in it, besides not being dry, is ending up with tons of big, beautiful bubbles in the final product, which obviously look super cool, but also make for a very interesting texture, especially toasted. As I mentioned in the video, this closer to a ciabatta than the focaccia I'm used to, which is fine by me. If this is your first high-hydration dough, don't get frustrated trying to make precise folds, and a perfect shape. Just use lots of olive oil on the counter and your hands, and get it close. That's all we ever ask.

Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir yeast into bread flour in a bowl. Add salt, followed by 4 teaspoons oil, and water. Stir with a spoon until a wet, sticky dough forms.

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  • Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

  • Uncover dough and transfer to an oiled work surface. Using oiled hands, press and push the dough into a rectangle, 16x12 inches in size. Fold dough into thirds horizontally; fold vertically into thirds. Transfer smooth side up into a generously oiled pan.

  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rest until almost doubled in size, for 1 hour.

  • Using oiled hands, fold once more into thirds horizontally, then into thirds vertically to develop gluten structure. Flip dough, smooth side up, on the pan; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour more.

  • Unwrap and stretch and fold dough once more in each direction using oiled hands.

  • Transfer, smooth side up, into a generously oiled metal baking pan. Lightly drizzle with additional olive oil and stretch to fit the pan. Cover and let rest for 2 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)

  • Unwrap and poke holes in the top of the dough using oiled fingers if desired for the traditional focaccia look. Scatter over rosemary and flaky sea salt.

  • Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Slice and serve.

Chef's Notes:

Try and use a digital scale for the measurements in this recipe. As for the conversion: it calls for 500 grams bread flour, 12 grams kosher or sea salt, and 400 grams room temperature water—all other measurements given are exact in this recipe.

High-hydration dough need lots of gluten formation, so bread flour is important. You can use all-purpose, but it will be much harder to stretch and shape.

Use lots of olive oil on the work surface and on your hands when working with the dough. As well as lots of oil in the baking pan.

I used a metal pan that measured 12x8 inches at the bottom. You can use any similar-sized pan or baking dish, like a 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Nutrition Facts

155 calories; fat 2.2g; sodium 761.9mg; carbohydrates 28.3g; protein 4.7g. Full Nutrition
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