What can’t one do with this Sturdiwheat Baguette mix?
This takes a bit longer than the regular Sturdiwheat mix, but it is sooooooo worth it.
To start, dissolve yeast packet contents in 2.25 C warm water. Add 1.5 C of the mix and stir until smooth. Cover and let this sponge cure for up to 24 hours. If cured in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature for 1 hour before using.
When the sponge is ready, add the remaining contents of the Sturdiwheat bag to the sponge and mix thoroughly until smooth. The dough will be wet and very pliable. This is OK. This is a wet dough.
Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil or nonstick spray. (When working with this dough, put a bit of olive oil on your hands to prevent sticking.) Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Drizzle some olive oil in a 9 x 13″ pan, smear your hands in it and coat the sides of the pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan. (It will go into the corners with the rise.) Cover and let rise until doubled – about an hour. It is important to let this rise fully before putting it in the oven because of the high temperature and fast baking time. There is not much time in the oven for the focaccia to rise.
Before baking, top the focaccia with any number of goodies. I like rosemary. If you use fresh rosemary, blanch it quickly so it retains its color during baking. I also like sautéed onion and sweet peppers. To prepare them, slice onion and peppers thinly and sauté in a bit of olive oil until they are softened. Or leave it plain! It is great any way you bake it.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
When the focaccia is ready to bake, brush the top somewhat generously with olive oil. Sprinkle your favorite topping and then press your fingers or a wooden spoon into the top to make indentations in the bread. Not too many. This will give that authentic appearance. You may be pressing some of the topping into the bread, and this is OK. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt (if you have it) or table salt.
Bake until golden brown and the sides pull away a bit from the pan. 25-30 minutes. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack.
Enjoy this bread warm or at room temperature. Cut it in squares and then horizontally for sandwiches. Cut it in strips for snacks. Enjoy it with soup, salad, dinner. Enjoy it with appetizers.