Mushroom focaccia

Mushroom focaccia

I came across this recipe in Daniel Leader’s Local Breads. He mentions it being one of the most memorable meals on his trip to Altamura. As is customary in the region, it’s made from durum flour and the overall formula is pretty simple: 100% durum flour, 82% water, 3% salt. It’s topped with porcini mushrooms. Leader suggests using a mix of dried porcinis and fresh cremini mushrooms, because porcinis can be hard to find in the US.

Well, it’s mushroom season here in Finland and porcinis seem to be quite abundant.

Most of them are by now too large and gnarly to be useful, but it’s still possible to find nice ones. Leader suggests frying them in olive oil with garlic and thyme.

I was absolutely certain I had some durum flour somewhere in the cupboard, but when it was time to mix the leaven, I couldn’t find any. There’s no way I’m driving around late at night looking for durum flour, so this will have to be plain AP.

The great thing about focaccia is there’s no need to worry about oven spring. I usually try to feel the dough as it’s fermenting and proofing, but I didn’t touch this once apart from a few folds. The only problem was stretching it to fit the baking sheet. It’s surprisingly elastic for a soupy dough.

I briefly considered baking it on the steel, but Leader suggests just putting the sheet in the middle rack and baking at 440 F. 

I’m not overly disappointed, but it was a little plain for my taste. I wonder if the real version made with durum would have been tastier.

There’s a recipe for potato bread with roasted onions in Hamelman’s book. I think I’ll try making that with mushrooms next.