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Saffron Focaccia

Inspired by the easy no knead focaccia recipe in Bon Appetit, adding a pinch of gold. 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 ¼ tsp envelope active dry yeast 
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • 5 cups all purpose flour 
  • 5 tsp Morton kosher salt 
  • 7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • Flaky sea salt (Maldon is a great one) 
  • 2-4 garlic cloves 
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads (15 threads) 

 

Make the magic happen: 

  • Whisk the 2 ¼ tsp dry yeast, 2 tsp honey and 2 ½ cups lukewarm water in a medium bowl and let it sit 5 minutes (it should foam or at least get creamy; if it doesn’t your yeast is dead and you should start again – check the expiration date!). 
  • Add 5 cups of the all purpose flour and 5 tsp diamond crystal or 1 tbsp Morton kosher salt and mix with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms and no dry streaks remain. 
  • Pour 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil into a big bowl that will fit in your refrigerator so it will rise. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with a silicone lid or plastic wrap and chill until dough is doubled in size, for at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. It should look bubbly. If you need it faster, you can also let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 3-4 hours. 
  • Create your saffron infused olive oil in a separate bowl, keep 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil and mix this with half of your saffron threads. 
  • Generously butter a 13x9” baking pan, for thicker focaccia that’s perfect for sandwiches, or an 18x13” rimmed baking sheet, for focaccia that’s thinner, crispier, and great for snacking. The butter may seem superfluous, but it’ll ensure that your focaccia doesn’t stick. Pour 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil into center of pan. Keeping the dough in the bowl and using a fork in each hand, gather up edges of dough farthest from you and lip up and over into center of bowl. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat process. Do this two more times. Transfer the dough to prepared pan. Pour your olive oil left over in the bowl and turn dough to coat it in oil. Let it rise, uncovered, in a dry, warm spot until doubled I size, at least for another 1 ½ hours and up to 4 hours. 
  • Place a rack in the middle of oven, peheat your oven to 450 degrees. To see if the dough is ready, poke it with your finger. It should spring back slowly, leaving a small visible indentation. If it springs back quickly, the dough isn’t ready. Lightly oil your hands. If using a rimmed baking sheet, gently stretch out dough to fill. Dimple focaccia all over with your fingers, creating very deep depressions in the dough (let your fingers reach all the way to the bottom of the pan). Drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp saffron infused extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake focaccia until puffed and golden brown all over, 20-30 minutes. 
  • Hold off on this last step until you’re ready to serve the focaccia. Melt 4 tbsp unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Peel and grate in 2-4 garlic cloves with a Microplane and add the other half of your saffron to it. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until garlic is just lightly toasted, 30-45 seconds. 
  • When your focaccia is ready to serve, brush garlic-butter all over focaccia and slice into squares or rectangles. 
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