Secret Sauce: Peach & Rosemary Sourdough Focaccia by L’Artusi

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From L’Artusi chef Joe Vigorito:

Since so many of us started experimenting with making bread and patiently tending to our new sourdough starters during quarantine (including Chef Joe Vigorito), we thought it was a perfect time to bring a Focaccia to the L’Artusi menu. With peaches in season, you get a beautiful contrast of sweetness that pairs with the sourdough, the woodsy-floral rosemary, and that really lush Tuscan olive oil. 

Ingredients

900 grams all-purpose flour

300 grams “00” flour

720 grams water

240 grams whole milk

240 grams sourdough starter

120 grams extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

18 grams kosher salt

4 peaches, pitted and sliced ½-inch thick

½ cup rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

 

Instructions

To make the dough:

In a large bowl, mix the flours, water, milk, sourdough starter, olive oil, and salt together until everything is combined. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. 

For the bulk rise:

To prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, place a small bowl of water next to the large bowl, and lightly wet your fingers as needed. 

Stretch and fold the dough over itself, starting by lifting the far side of the dough up and bringing it toward you. Rotate the bowl 180° and repeat the stretch and fold. Rotate the bowl 90° and stretch and fold again. Rotate the bowl 180°, stretch and fold one more time, then cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold process 2 to 3 more times, allowing the dough to rest 30 minutes in between each session. Cover and proof the dough in the refrigerator overnight (15 to 17 hours).

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and continue to proof at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Stretch and fold the dough 1 final time.

To finish + bake:

Preheat the oven to 415°F. Grease a 17-inch-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and line with parchment.

Turn out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and begin to stretch out the dough so it fills the pan. Cover and rest for 30 minutes, then stretch again. Proof a final 2 hours at room temperature.

Decorate the top of the focaccia with the sliced peaches and rosemary leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle liberally with flaky sea salt. 

Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 35 to 45 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, if you like, then cut and serve.

Pro Tip

No peaches? Substitute sliced cherries in the summer or Thomcord (seedless) grapes in the fall. You can blitz leftover focaccia to use as breadcrumbs, or fry cubes to add to a panzanella salad.

Makes about 35 2-inch squares.

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