Focaccia Caprese : We Knead to Bake

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I am quite chatty usually, but now a days past 11 PM, the energy is completely concentrated on keeping your eyes open! That’s funny considering that I have always been a late night person. But life style changes with time and age and different stages in one’s life…
So there is a good chance that I will be hitting the bed early till my son goes off to college. Until then, my midnight chatter is going to be on the shorter side. 
This Focaccia Caprese was Aparna’s ‘We Knead to Bake’ group’s bread for January. I got around doing it only now. But at least a little late than never! Head out to Aparna’s space for more information about the bread. Scroll down below to check out the step by step pictures for making this bread.
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Recipe Source: My Diverse Kitchen
Ingredients:
For the Dough:
  • Instant Yeast             :      2 tsp
  • Sugar                             :      1 1/2 tbsp
  • Flour                              :      3 1/2 cups**
  • Vital Wheat gluten  :      1 tbsp (optional)**
  • Salt                                 :      1 tsp
  • Oil                                   :     1/4 cup (preferably olive oil)
  • Warm Water                 :    1 to 1 1/2 cups
  • Oil for brushing dough

**I don’t get bread flour here, so Flour + gluten is a substitute for that

 For the Topping: 
  • Tomatoes               :           3 big, sliced thin
  • Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4” slices. I used up about 150 gms, I guess!! 
For the Herbed Oil (double and use):
  • Olive Oil                         :     1/4 cup
  • Dried Oregano            :     1 tsp
  • Dried basil                    :     1 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes         :      1/2 tsp
  • Garlic                              :      1 big pod, crushed
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Make the herb oil. Whisk the chilli flakes, oregano, basil, crushed garlic, salt and oil together. Keep aside.

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Get the ingredients for the bread.

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In a big bowl, add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, gluten, oil. Whisk. Add a cup of warm water and make the dough. You might have to add more water as you go till you get a slightly sticky but soft dough.

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Cover and keep it undisturbed for an hour or so. The dough should be double in quantity – that’s our target.

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Once the dough doubles, punch it down. I wanted only two. So I divided the dough into two.

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Roll out one portion into a thick oval-ish rounds. You can shape the dough with your hands as well. The thickness should be uniform all over. (Mine wasn’t, as you can see :D)

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Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Let it sit for 20 minutes or so. 

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Once its risen, make dimples on it with your fingers. You can lightly oil your fingers before you do it. Brush generously with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 210C till it’s golden brown. Take out the bread and raise the oven temperature to 230C.

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Drizzle the herb oil generously. Place the cheese slices all over and then arrange the tomato slices. The top should be covered with the fillings. Drizzle some more herbed oil on top and bake again for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has just melted.

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Beat eaten fresh and hot :-). Serve with a bowl of soup for a complete meal.

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