I'm following this challenge out of order...that bothers me a little bit as I'm slightly OCD and not following steps is one of my triggers. However, the next bread in the challenge for me was cinnamon rolls and those just don't go with lasagna (I'm guessing.)
Peter Reinhart declares in the introduction to this recipe that most people are eating bad focaccia...and after having tried this recipe I can state that if you haven't been eating this recipe, then he's right. This was the most delicious focaccia that I've had. Light, moist, flavorful due to the herb oil...I'll make this many times.
I mixed the ingredients (copyrighted, can't post sorry) in my mixer with the paddle attachment until they formed a soft, sticky ball, adding a bit extra flour so that it stuck to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides. Then I switched to the dough hook attachment and let the machine knead the dough for 7 minutes. Meanwhile I made a bed of flour. With a wet spoon I scooped out the dough onto the bed of flour, topped with flour and patted into a rectangle. Let sit 5 minutes.
Stretched and folded to twice the width and folded like a letter..let rise 30 minutes. Repeat twice more.
Mine looked rather pathetic at the end of that...still learning how to manipulate the dough.
Meanwhile, make the herb oil. I used a cup of olive oil though the recipe calls for 2...add whatever herbs you like. I threw in rosemary, chopped garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Let the oil warm, then remove from heat and let it steep while the dough is rising.
Pour half of the herb oil over the dough...
Then using just the tips of my fingers I poked dents into the dough, moving it outward towards the edges of the pan. It didn't reach all the way but that's ok. Covered loosely with plastic wrap and set into the fridge to proof overnight.
Removed today 4 hours before I wanted to serve it. I just had to do a little bit more poking, the dough spread and filled the pan! I added the rest of the oil to the top and let it sit loosely covered for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 500. Place the pan in the oven and reduce heat to 450. Baked 10 min, then turned it 180 and baked another 10 minutes. It was golden and beautiful.
I made a vinaigrette to serve as dipping sauce with basically the herb oil and a touch of vinegar. My husband enjoyed it with the marinara sauce I made for the lasagna we were having it with. It was a complete success even though the edges weren't quite straight...and hey, I always feel that it looks more homemade and good if it's a little imperfect looking.
Maybe next I'll do the cinnamon rolls...