Tomato Olive Jalapeño Focaccia

Tomato Olive Jalapeño Focaccia:

Tomato Olive Jalapeño Focaccia is a nice mix of Italy meets California all wrapped up in a billowy bread.

Over the Summer of 2017 I had the grand experience of exploring Italy and all it’s glory. We adventured from the south tip of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the northern peak of Venice to the mountain tops of Perugia to the Piazza De Popolo of Rome, and what I found was Italy is very similar to California as far as produce is concerned. We share many of the same flavors and climate. Like Italy, California is rich in the world of tomatoes, olives and citrus, amongst other produce. I thought about this a whole lot as we traveled from city to city by train with lush farm land laid out before me.

Upon my arrival back home to California I have incorporated a few things I learned about food from my Italian vacation, but when making this focaccia I wanted to make sure to add my own Californian twist by adding jalapeños. I hope you will enjoy my recipe.

Full sheet of Tomato olive focaccia

Ingredients for tomato olive jalapeño focaccia:

  •  350 grams – water (80 F) plus 25 grams
  • 100 grams – leaven (sourdough starter)
  • 420 grams – white bread flour
  • 75 grams – whole grain wheat flour
  • 5 grams – wheat germ
  • 10 grams – sea salt

Toppings:

  • Olive oil
  • truffle salt (or regular sea salt)
  • tomato halves
  • castelvetrano olives
  • pickled jalapeño slices

Directions:

  1. With a scale weigh 350 grams of water and pour into a large plastic mixing bowl. Then add 100 grams leaven, 420 grams white bread flour, 75 grams whole grain wheat flour, and 5 grams wheat germ to the water.
  2. Mix thoroughly by hand or with a rubber spatula until you no longer see any dry flour bits. Cover the bowl with a plastic lid and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. After the resting period, remove the lid and sprinkle the 10 grams of salt and 25 grams of water to the top of the dough. Mix with your hands or a rubber spatula by folding the dough onto itself until all salt and water are combined into the dough. The dough will now begin it’s first rise (bulk fermentation). Cover the bowl with a plastic lid and allow to rest for 30 minutes.Dough rises best in warmer temperatures of 80 t0 90 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. Fold the dough every 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours during bulk fermentaion. To fold, wet one hand with water (this will prevent your hand from sticking) and grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out and fold it over onto itself. Rotate the bowl and repeat this method on the other side. I like to to fold about 4 to 5 times.
  5. After 3 to 4 hours the dough should feel billowy, soft when you dig your hands in and have bubbles within the inside. You will see a 20 to 30 percent increase in the doughs volume. Careful with the dough at this point… handle it gently to avoid pressing the gas out of the dough.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Brush a 9 x 13 metal rimmed baking sheet with a generous amount of olive oil.
  8.  Pull the dough out of the container by flipping it upside down onto the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Stretch the dough to the edges of the baking sheet. If the dough tightens, allow it to rest for 15 minutes then try and stretch it again.
  10. Brush the top with 2 tablespoons of olive oil then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of truffle salt over the top. Decorate with tomatoes, olives, and pickled jalapeño slices.
  11. Bake for 12 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, rotating the pan at the 12 minute mark to bake evenly, then bake for an additional 13 minutes. baking for 25 minutes total.
  12. Remove the tomato olive jalapeño focaccia to a cutting board, cut with a serrated knife and serve warm or cool.  Can be used to make sandwiches too!
  13. Enjoy!

Focaccia slab cut into triangles

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