Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Focaccia with Garlic Shards, Artichokes and Feta

There's a note on my book that says, "good" at the top of this recipe.  I'm guessing that someone else in our baking group made it, and liked it.  Since it came up as our baking assignment, I just had to try making it.  We had this focaccia bread for dinner tonight.

A half batch of HBin5 master dough was made.  As usual,  I used white whole wheat flour instead of regular whole wheat flour.  We didn't have any marinated artichokes, but we had artichokes canned in water.  So I added some olive oil to some artichokes and let them marinate for awhile.  The olive oil was drained to saute the garlic and to drizzle on the focaccia bread just before baking.

Instead of adding rosemary, feta cheese was added during the last 5 minutes of baking so that it wouldn't burn. The focaccia bread was already pretty full of toppings, so the rosemary would have been too much.

Focaccia Breadd with Garlic Shards, Artichokes, and Feta
It was really good!  We were so excited to eat it, I forgot to take a picture of it when it first came out of the oven.  This is the only piece saved--for my lunch the next day!

We'd highly recommend trying this recipe!  You will forget that it's whole grain.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave a comment before you go, I'd love to hear from you.  And I hope you will return soon, I'll be baking again!


Buckwheat Bread

Buckwheat bread

I thought I would jump ahead in our HBin5 baking group schedule to try buckwheat bread.  There's all kinds of flours in my fridge, and they want to be used (yes, my ingredients talk to me!  :)

This week I baked a bunch of muffins.  I also made sour cream coffee cake because there was some sour cream in the fridge, which was asking me to make it into something yummy.  My hubby is happy with all the sweets, so I can probably sneak in a whole grain bread for dinner tonight.

Buckwheat is pretty interesting.  It's actually a fruit!  I usually keep some around the house.  It makes a good pilaf with mushrooms and a hot cereal.  It can be used in gluten free baking.  However, this recipe includes wheat flour.

There were a couple of changes to the recipe.  White whole wheat flour was used, to make a finer texture.  Fine granulation groats were used, which is what I had around the house.  The dough seemed watery after mixing.  I guess the buckwheat soaked up much of the water overnight in the fridge.  It was firmer the next morning.

Michelle, our baking group leader, mentioned that she was able to find lined baskets recently at a dollar store.  I had read about one famous baker who bought many of these for rising baskets, instead of the expensive brotforms.  I immediately went to the store, and snapped 4 of them up!

$1 lined basket, for the dough rising

I made a half batch of dough, which is about two pounds.  I'd like to make a foccaccia bread recipe with half of it on Sunday.  Therefore,  only one pound of dough was used for this loaf.

I floured the basket liberally with whole wheat flour and to do the gluten cloak on the sticky dough.

It looks a little lonely in the basket!  It will be interesting what happens during a 90 minute rise.

After the rise in the lined basket

Well, it did get a bit larger during the rise.  But how do I get it onto the peel so I can slide it onto the hot stone? 

This might not be as much of an issue with a larger loaf. It would probably be easier to roll out of the basket.

On the peel

The loaf deflated slightly when I put it on the peel.  Hopefully, the oven spring will help the rise.  The loaf was sprayed with water and then scored with my super sharp knife.  The loaf baked in a 450 degree oven, with steam, for about 30 minutes.

Buckwheat Loaf, cooling on the rack

Here's the buckwheat loaf, cooling on the rack.  It did rise some more in the oven, but not much.

Buckwheat Bread
It was a nice surprise to hear my hubby say "good" when he bit into a slice of bread.  It didn't have a whole wheat taste, but was still whole grain. There was a slight mouthfeel of the groats, which was really nice.

Another loaf was made, with the remaining dough, the next week.  This time, the proofing basket wasn't used. 

Buckwheat Bread, which rose on the peel
There really wasn't a big difference in rise between the two methods, in this case. 

This bread really grew on me.  It's really good with flavorful cheeses and soups.  We served it with sesame chicken recipe that had a mustard-apricot sauce:

Sesame Chicken, hot out of the oven

"Sesame Chicken"
3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken, cut into pieces and patted dry.

1/2 cup apricot (could use plum jam or honey)
1/2 cup mustard (Dijon or French)
2-4 TBSP untoasted sesame seeds (or more if desired)

Mix jam or honey with mustard. Spread mixture on chicken. Coat with sesame seeds and place in a 9x13" baking dish. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approx 1 hour. I then cover, and cook a bit longer. If you don't cover it, it gets too brown. Cook until tender and golden brown. Serves 4-6 people.

I couldn't find my dijon mustard, which is usually used in this recipe.  Instead, I used a mixture of French's mustard and the "Ben's Sweet and Hot Mustard" that I won from our co-baker, Guff, who has a blog called Old Pop's Blog.  He was kind enough to share his mustard with a giveaway, and I was the lucky person to win it.

The chicken was delicious, and we have enough leftovers for another meal.  I don't really like hot foods, so the mixture of the two mustards was just right.  We laughed when we later found the dijon mustard!  It was meant for us to try Ben's mustard in this recipe!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you will leave a comment.  I'll be baking again soon, would love to see you again.