Sunday, March 26, 2017

Seasonal Herb Focaccia Burger Rolls and Slider Rolls

     Fancy Focaccia Burger Rolls and Slider Rolls!
     Today's focaccia dough recipe is a little bit different than some of the previous focaccia recipes that are posted in this food side.  There is no sugar in today's recipe and the proportion of yeast to water is lower.  This recipe variation allows the dough to slowly rise two times and this creates a nice bread texture.
     Seasonal herbs of any kind can be used to make today's focaccia recipe.  Those who harvested herbs from their own garden before the first hard freeze of winter, probably already have those herbs dried out.  
     Stock rotation is just important at home as it is in a restaurant.  The old dried herbs that were stored from a previous season should be used before the new freshly harvested herbs are dried.  As dried herbs age they do lose potency.  It is good to keep a few recipes in mind that call for a large quantity of herbs, when it is time to liquidate the old herb stock.  Today's bread recipe definitely requires a bunch of herbs!    

     Seasonal Herb Focaccia:    
     This small batch recipe yields enough dough to make the baked products in the photos, plus two individual size pizzas!  (1 large hamburger roll, 2 bread sticks, 1 petite braided loaf, 1 "Dog Bone Roll" and two 11" mini pizzas)  
     High gluten flour or bread flour is best for this recipe.  The gluten strands are what gives focaccia its texture.
     Focaccia is a yeast dough that is enriched with fat.  Oil is a fat. 
     Sugar is an optional ingredient in focaccia recipes.  There is no sugar in today's recipe!
     *This recipe is written for a steel gear mixer with a dough hook.    
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water (112ºF) in a 2 to 3 gallon capacity electric mixer bowl.
     Add 2 tablespoons of fresh yeast (or 1 tablespoon of dry yeast). 
     Place the mixing bowl in a lukewarm place like on a towel on top of a warm oven.
     Wait for the yeast to activate. 
     Step 2:  Add about 1 1/2 cups of flour.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. 
     Step 3:  Place the mixer bowl on the mixer and attach a dough hook.
     At low speed, mix till a very loose wet dough is formed.
     Step 4:  Start adding a little bit of flour at a time, till the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and the dough starts to look like it can gather on the dough hook.  (About 3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour.  The total amount of flour may vary.) 
     Step 5:  Run the mixer at a low speed for about 5 minutes to knead the dough.  
     *By now the dough should be gathering on the hook.
     Step 6:  Turn the mixer off.
     Add these dried herbs:
     - 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage
     - 1 teaspoon of basil
     - 1 teaspoon of oregano
     - 1 teaspoon of marjoram
     - 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
     - 1 teaspoon of dill weed
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.  (optional)
     Step 7:  Turn the mixer on at a low speed.
     Briefly mix till the herbs are evenly distributed in the dough.
     Step 8:  Turn off the mixer.
     Remove the mixer bowl from the mixer.
     Remove the dough hook.
     Cover the dough in the mixing bowl with a dry lint free pastry towel. 
     Set the bowl on top of a warm oven, with a second towel underneath the bowl to protect the dough from too much heat. 
     When the dough rises more than double, beat it down with your knuckles.
     Step 9:  Cover the dough with a lint free pastry towel and let it rise a second time.
     When the dough rises the second time, beat the dough down and knead firmly with your hands for 1 minute.
     Step 10:  Place the dough on a lightly floured countertop.
     Roll the dough into a large ball. 
     Cut the dough ball in half for 2 portions.  
     *1 portion of the dough will yield 2 individual size pizzas or 2 small 11" round flat focaccia bread.  The shaped bread examples in the photos was made with 1 portion of dough.
     Step 11:  Roll and tuck each of the 2 dough portions with with your hands to make smooth dough balls.
     Step 12:  Place the 2 dough portion in 2 sealed containers.
     Chill the dough, so the yeast becomes less active.  (Chilled dough is much easier to shape!  The dough portions can be chilled for up to 24 hours.) 

     Scaling dough portions ensures that each dough shape will be an equal size.  Since there are variations in the volume of flour in a bread dough recipe, it is best to not write the portion weights in this recipe section.  It is up to the bread maker to determine the scaled portion weights and the bread maker is you!  The easiest way to do this is to make a desired shape, then weigh it.  The recorded weight can then be used to make scaled portions, so every finished shape is the same size.  Be sure to include the weight of any piece of dough that must be trimmed off of certain shapes too.
     *Any extra dough or trimmings can be recombined to make more bread dough shapes.  
     *Be sure to space each dough product apart from each other on the parchment paper lined pan, so they will not touch each other after proofing! 

     • Slider Roll Shape
     - Cut golf ball size portions.
     - Roll the dough portions into ball shapes.
     - Place the small dough balls on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
     - Lightly brush with olive oil.

     • Large Hamburger Roll Shape
     - Cut a portion of dough that is the size of an average Navel Orange.
     - Thumb tuck the dough and roll it into a ball shape.
     - Place the dough ball on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
     - Use a knife to score 3 or 4 shallow lines on the top of the roll.
     - Lightly brush with olive oil.

     Place the pan of shaped dough in a warm area.
     Allow the dough to rise to 1 1/2 times its size. 
     *Sprinkling a pinch of sea salt over the proofed bread before baking is an option. 

     Bake in a 425ºF oven, till the bread becomes a light golden brown color.  
     *Each bread shape has its own finishing time.  The center temperature of the bread must be at least 190ºF to be fully cooked.  If the bread is going to be reheated at a later time, only bake the bread till it is a light golden shade.  
     Place the pan on a cooling rack. 

     If the bread is for later use, then reheat the bread before serving.

     Fresh baked Seasonal Herb Hamburger Rolls and Slider Rolls add a nice touch to a sandwich presentation!

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