The thirteenth Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge (from the book by the same name authored by Peter Reinhart) was Focaccia, and is found on pages 159-167.
I know it has been awhile since I posted any of the BBA breads as I sort of stymied over the Focaccia. For a long time I couldn't figure out what it was that was making me have Focaccia Phobia, as my other BBA baking buddies were all having a great time with it and producing wonderful results. Then I figured it out: I didn't really like the Focaccia I had eaten before, the recipe/directions/photos in the book took up NINE pages, and the whole process was scheduled to take two days. Somehow that all just seemed intimidating at the time.
Then one day, I just got up and decided that was THE DAY to start the Focaccia. It was easy, didn't really take all that much time since most of the time it sits in the frig just minding its own business, and most of all, it was delicious. The dough's stint overnight in the refrigerator enhances the flavors. I made only half a batch as my side by side refrigerator would not hold the size of pan for a whole recipe.
The thing that was most surprising to me was that it was light and airy and sort of just melted in your mouth. All of the Focaccia I had eaten in the past was heavy and dull and kind of gummy in my mouth, often over-spiced with ingredients that had sort of a fake taste. PR's recipe is nothing like those, it is absolutely wonderful.
In hindsight, it was a good thing I only made half a batch as this is very dangerous stuff to have around. It's good with a meal, as sandwich material, and excellent all on its own for a snack. Definitely something I will be baking now and again, so worth it.
Nancy, Cathy, Jessica, Melissa, Sarah, Di, Leslie, Margaret and I are baking and posting every other week to better fit into our schedules. If you would like to see their Focaccia, click on their names and visit their sites in the next few days, or you can visit the main group and marvel how they are so far ahead of us. We'll get there...Slow and Steady. Our next challenge: French Bread, found on pages 168-171.