Monday, October 15, 2012

Sapori Antichi Focaccia

It's been a while since I've taken part in World Bread Day - in fact I'm sad to say I haven't joined in since the very first edition back in 2006. This year I decided I had to change that and as I'm in Italy I'm taking advantage of the amazing array of different flours that can be found here.

One of those flours will be the focus of the bread I'm baking today - Marino Farina Sapori Antichi which hails from here in the Langhe.

Marino Sapori Antichi Flour© by Haalo

This is a blend of four (soft and hard) cereals - Spelt, Enkir, Kamut and Rye. Enkir is especially interesting as it's one of the oldest species of cereal, domesticated about 12000 years ago. Spelt, Kamut and Rye are also ancient grains which explains why the blend is called "sapori antichi" or "ancient flavours".

Sapori Antichi Flour© by Haalo
As you can see it isn't a "white" flour - it's more a very light brown/tan in colour.

For my first bake with with flour I decided to make the Italian favourite - a genovese-style focaccia. It has quite a forgiving dough and always seems to work.

Sapori Antichi Focaccia© by Haalo

"Sapori Antichi" Focaccia

300 grams Marino "Sapori Antichi" Flour
12 grams fresh yeast (half a cube)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tepid water, approx
extra virgin olive oil, extra
fresh rosemary
freshly ground dried chillies
sea salt

Make the rosemary topping:
Strip the rosemary from the stalk and place in a mortar, top with a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil. Press gently with the pestle to lightly bruise the rosemary. Set to one side while you make the dough.

Make the dough:

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl, add the sugar and enough tepid water to form a soft paste. Let this sit to for a few minutes to activate and bubble.

Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl - make a well in the center and add the olive oil and activated yeast, stir and add in enough water to form a soft dough. Using a dough scraper, work the dough in the bowl so that it forms a smooth ball.

Place this ball into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put this in a warm spot and leave to double in size.

Make the focaccia:

A genovese-style focaccia is a lot thinner and a lot oilier than you'd probably be used to.

Take a baking tray and pour in extra virgin olive oil - you need to use enough to cover the base. Place the dough into the center of the tray - using wet hands push the dough out to fill the tray, then use your fingertips to dimple the surface.

Dot the top with the rosemary and olive oil mix and leave it to rise again. Finish with a generous grinding of dried chillies and sea salt.

Sapori Antichi Focaccia© by Haalo

Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool.

My verdict on the flour - quite impressed with the depth of flavour and I'm looking forward to baking again with it.


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