Claire’s Focaccia

We all love Claire Saffitz, right? High-key very happy she left Bon Appetit and the now madness that is that magazine. But that’s besides the point. I got her book Dessert Person for Christmas and finally got around to making one of her recipes. I decided to go with the Focaccia, it’s so crispy and warm and soft on the inside, UGH. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t stand in front of the oven and try and eat it when it was still incredibly hot. It’s recommended that you have a stand mixer for this, I do not have one in my little apartment and it still turned out good; just have a strong arm on stand-by. Eat this on it’s own, slice in half for sandwich bread, do whatever you want with it really I don’t care, just enjoy it.

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 6 Cups/780g Bread Flour
  • 2 TBSP/17g Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup/110g Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1/4 Cup for topping and for oiling hands
  • Additional toppings: 4 Cloves crushed garlic [or whatever you’d like]

Let’s Get Baking

First we are going to dissolve the yeast. In a small sauce pan, warm 1/2 cup water over low heat, just until it’s lukewarm, about 105F. Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk in the yeast to dissolve. Set this aside until the mixture is cloudy and slightly puffed, will take about 5 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cups [567g] room-temp water to the yeast mixture + add in the flour and kosher salt. Using the dough hook, mix on the lowest speed until a loose dough comes together, for about a minute. Then increase the speed to med-high and mix until the dough is smooth and wrapping around the hook, about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Mix again on med-high speed, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and pulling away from the bowl, for about 10-15 minutes. ** THE DOUGH WILL BE STICKY**

In a separate bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a separate large bowl and coat. Scrape the dough into the bowl and coat the dough. Take a photo before covering so you can gauge the rise. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.

While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings. For this recipe that involves crushing and chopping the garlic.

Drizzle 1/4 cup oil across a cookie sheet, coating the entire thing. With your oiled hands, slide your hand around either side of the dough and lift it out of the bowl. Let the dough weigh itself down back into the bowl. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this process two more times. This allows the dough to rise more. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet. Stretch the dough out in all directions, it’s not going to fully cover the pan yet, don’t stress. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Uncover and stretch the dough again so it fits all the sides of the sheet. Cover again and let rise in the fridge for 24 hours. OR you can let is sit for another 40-55 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 450F, place two oven racks on the highest and lowest positions. Uncover the risen dough with oiled hands and with wide hands, press your finger tips into the dough making dimples across the surface.

Top the focaccia as wanted: I added 1/4 cup olive oil+ chopped garlic + salt.

Bake on the lower rack for about 20-25 minutes and then transfer to the top rack until it begins to brown for about 5 minutes. Pay attention to the color here.

Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes [hardest 10 minutes ever]. Scrape out with a spatula and let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy in whatever way you wish!

Always Hungry,

Hannah

Homemade Bagels

I’ve said this so many times but it’s so true, bread is so much easier to make at home than people make it out to be. Your simple bagel and white bread is so much closer than the grocery store. Feel free to add cheese on top or do whatever you like, go crazy. These bagels take no time at all to make and you can enjoy them for breakfast or for whatever you please! I used the recipe from Finding Silver Linings!

Ingredients

  • One Packet of Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
  • 3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour + extra for kneading
  • 1 1/2 TSP Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg White for the egg wash

Lets Get Cooking

In a large measuring cup, add 1/2 cup warm water + sugar + yeast. DO NOT STIR. Let this sit for about 5 minutes to least the yeast build. After the five minutes, stir everything until it all dissolves.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour + salt. Make a well in the middle and add in the yeast mixture.

Pour the final 1/3 Cup of warm water into the flour mixture as well. Mix until you have a moist and firm dough. If you need to add water to achieve this add in a little at a time.

Flour a surface and knead the dough for about 7 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Clean the bowl that the dough was mixed in and lightly oil the sides. Add in the kneaded dough and turn it until it is covered in the oil. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour. Punch the dough down and let rest for another 10 min.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and round the pieces making them as smooth as possible. Press your finger into the center of each dough ball and form a ring. Stretch the ring out slightly and place on an oiled cookie sheet, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425F and bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil about 4 bagels at a time for about 2 min each side. Remove from the water and place back on the sheet.

Once all the bagels have been boiled, brush with an egg wash and bake for 20 min.

Once they are golden brown, take them out, & enjoy!

Always Hungry,

Hannah

Sourdough Starter

We all have so much time on our hands that it’s the perfect time to try new things. Sourdough bread has been something that is on my mind, but it always seemed out of reach, the starter, the fermentation process. I did not understand anything about it. I figured now was the perfect time to figure out this whole process. King Arthur Flour has the BEST guide for making your own starter, so that is what I am going to share with you. I think the best possible thing you can have in your kitchen when making a starter is a kitchen scale, this thing saved me! Now you can always get some starter from a friend, or beg a bakery for a bit of theirs, but truly what fun is that. Here is the guide that I used to make my starter and eventually, my own bread. My best advice is be patient, this is going to take some time!

Ingredients

To Begin the starter:

  • 1 Cup/113g whole rye or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Cup/113g cool water

To Feed starter

  • 1 Cup/113g unbleached All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup/113g cool water (if the house is warm) or lukewarm water (if house is cold)

Let’s Get Fermenting

Day 1: start the process by combining the whole wheat flour with cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass is recommended & what I used as well. Be sure that whatever you store it in the starter has room to grow. Stir all the ingredients together and cover. Let the container sit at room temperature/70 degrees for 24 hours.

Day 2: Some bubbling my start appearing on the sides of the container. Now discard about 1/2 cup/4oz of the starter. Add what is left of the starter to 1 cup/113g of unbleached all-purpose and 1/2 cup/113g cool or lukewarm water depending on your house temperature. Mix well & let the mixture rest again for 24 hours.

Day 3: MORE ACTIVITY, there should be some bubbling and it may even start to smell a little bit differently now, THIS IS GOOD! This is soon going to get repetitive, but you are now going to move to 2 feedings in a day. This starter is now your new pet!

Discard all but 1/2 cup/4oz and combine with the 113g unbleached and 113g water. Mix & cover like usual. This time however, you are going to repeat the step in 12 hours.

Day 4: Discard all but 4oz/1/2 cup and combine with 113g of unbleached flour and water. Feed again in 12 hours

Day 5: At this point your starter should have doubled in volume, there will be lots of bubbles, and a very different smell than when you started. Repeat the same steps you completed in Day 4 until the starter has risen enough.

If your starter has risen enough feed it one more time before using what you need to make the bread. One thing I have to say is do not worry about this being perfect. There were times that I forgot to feed the starter twice, or I didn’t do it at the same time. Trust me it all works out, it will just make the process a little longer! Store the starter in its permanent container and place in the fridge. Feed once a week with the 113g flour and water.

I hope this guide is helpful, please check out King Arthur’s guide as well for any extra tips! This process is very rewarding once you realize that you were able to make your own sourdough at home! It’s no easy task & you should be proud!

Made with Love,

Hannah