instant yeast onion-tomato-garlic focaccia

Made a mistake with starter quantity last night so had to improvise up a focaccia with instant yeast. (First time in more than two years I have used that laboratory-grown single-strain abomination!)  I have to make focaccia otherwise the oven just won’t cool down fast enough for the other breads to go in at the right time. Brick oven baking logistics are…..


Frankly, I was surprised to see so many nice large holes with such a relatively fast dough preparation time (I usually go overnight but am experimenting with faster processing times using higher percentage starters since you get more bounce and lighter crumbs that way which many people prefer. Also note how it’s a little translucent which usually I associate with sourdough only. But I did have about 10% of my expected sourdough starter so maybe that was enough to help round out the single strain yeast.

Tastes good too, but suspect will not stay easily edible for about a week like the ‘real’ sourdough. And it looks pretty darn good if I say so myself.

I went onto the Fresh Loaf forum to see if I could get the gram amounts for instant yeast instead of things like teaspoons and so forth in all the recipes I got on the web and so posted about this focaccia on that site:

For those advanced guests interested in formulas etc, here’s this one. You can’t see by looking but all the tomato weight is subtracted from the usual water weight. And the hydration is pretty low just because my way of subtracting from the water to compensate for tomato, onions (and usually fresh fennel) doesn’t come out right so I have adjusted it down. The hydration level ‘feels’ more like 173 = 73% – 75% or even higher.

OK. So you see Onion and Tomato (‘Tom) are each 10% of flour weight and that weight is subtracted from the water (3324). I put in more oil than usual because yeast breads tend to be much less moist and chewy than sourdough, but I always have oil in a focaccia. Heavy dose of fennel seeds but unfortunately no fennel because I forgot to buy it when last in town. Also added garlic percent since this year in Cape Breton it is not strong tasting, probably because of overly dry summer.

In terms of flour, this one is mainly Meunerie Milanaise Sifted 50, my favorite.

So this was mixed around 10.00 am and went into the oven at 18:15, so about 8 hours process time. For me that is as fast as I could ever imagine. Am curious to see how this ages. Right now it is super fresh and really very good, but I suspect that already by tomorrow it won’t hold up as well as the usual sourdough.


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