Basil Spiral Focaccia

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Title: Basil Spiral Focaccia
Yield: 8 Servings
Categories: Bread

Ingredients:

-----------------------------------DOUGH-----------------------------------
2 1/2 ts Active dry yeast
1/2 c Warm water
1/2 c Plus
2 tb Water; room temperature
1/2 c Mild tasting extra virgin
-olive oil
500 Grams unbleached plain flour
1 1/2 ts Sea salt


----------------------------------FILLING----------------------------------
2 -(up to)
3 tb Light extra virgin olive oil
1 lg Bunch fresh basil; about
-1.5 to 2 cups tighly packed
-leaves

----------------------------------TOPPING----------------------------------
1 tb Extra virgin olive oil

From: viv@tauon.ph.unimelb.edu.au (Viviane Buzzi)

Date: 25 Sep 1995 11:14:38 -0500

Source: "Focaccia" by Carol Field, (Chronicle Books, SF) ISBN:
0-8118-0854-8 (hc), 0-8118-0604-9 (pb) Serves: 8 to 10; Makes one 10 inch
focaccia

This focaccia is known as "sfoglierata". It is fantastic eaten warm
although it keeps for 2 days wrapped in a plastic bag. You can gently
reheat slices ... it's better than eating it cold, although it is OK cold
too.

Whisk the yeast into the warm water in a large bowl; let stand until
creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the room-temperature water and the oil.
If you are making the dough by hand, combine the flour and the salt, add
them in 2 additions, and mix until the dough comes together well. Knead on
a lightly floured surface for 4 to 5 minutes, let the dough rest briefly,
and finish kneading for another minute or two. The dough will be soft and
as delicate as an ear lobe. If you are using a heavy-duty electric mixer,
use the paddle attachment to mix the flour and salt into the yeast mixture
until they form a dough. Change to the dough hook and knead for 2 to 3
minutes, or until the dough is as tender as an ear lobe.

FIRST RISE: Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it tightly
with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour to 1 hour and
15 minutes.

SHAPING AND SECOND RISE: Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work
surface and roll it with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12 x 18 inch
rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick. The dough will roll out easily and
repair easily, if it should tear. To fill, paint the 2 to 3 tablespoons of
olive oil over the top of the dough - be sure to brush it thoroughly, even
liberally - and then cover the surface with a thick carpet of basil leaves.
Roll up the dough from the long end, like a jelly roll. Oil a 10 x 4 inch
angel-food tube pan very well and slip the dough into it, seam side down.
Don't be concerned if the 2 ends of the roll don't touch; they will after
the second rise. Cover the dough with a towel and let rise until doubled,
about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Baking: At least 30 minutes before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to
200C/400F with a baking stone inside, if you have one. Brush the top of
the "sfoglierata" with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the pan directly on
the stone and bake until golden, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 or 20
minutes, then slide the blade of a long thin knife or spatula between the
"sfoglierata" and the pan sides and the center tube to loosen it. Place on
a rack. Serve warm.

VIVIANE'S NOTES: When you cannot get your hands on fresh basil leaves, you
can use pesto as a filling ... just make sure that the filling is not too
liquid or it will create a mess as you roll up the focaccia. It is
delicious with pesto inside. I use pesto without the cheese added. I think
a filling of olive pesto/pate or artichoke pate would be good too.

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