This was a totally experimental bake. Based on no recipe (getting used to that) and merely determined by my desire to explore the limits of sourdough, when having no limits is what I really expect from it (and sometimes from myself).
So here is what I did. I took a pretty large amount of bubbling liquid leaven and mixed it with the typical ingredients used for a sweet dough: eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. Added some chocolate drops. Spread over some butter, cinnamon and sugar. Filled with fresh Swedish blueberries now in season -thank you Ornella for inspiring me to use fresh fruit with sourdough- and prayed the Gods for a rise.
Looks like the miracle happened, notwithstanding this was the final attempt to use my old oven before ordering a new one. Tough decision that I have been postponing as this gubbe (old folk in Swedish) was still capable of baking some amazing stuff. But, alas, I have to surrender to the evidence: only the upper part of the oven is functioning. The bottom part is dead. May rest in peace. So if you wonder why of the uneven color in my sweet focaccia (white on the bottom and very brown on top), here you go.
Looking forward to repeat the experiment with a functioning oven. And in case you own one, here is the method.
SWEET SOURDOUGH FOCACCIA WITH CHOCOLATE AND BLUEBERRIES
dough: 330 g liquid leaven*, 1 egg+1 egg yolk (76 g), 280 g milk, 680 g bread flour (I used stone ground organic), 60 g sugar (I used unrefined organic), 60 g butter, 2 teaspoon powdered vanilla sugar, pinch of salt, 3 handful chocolate drops.
filling: 70 g butter, 70 g sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon powdered vanilla sugar, 350 g fresh blueberries.
plus 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, for the egg wash; melted butter for the final touch (after baking).
*liquid leaven: the night before baking, take out 34 g (1.2 oz) of 100% hydration active sourdough starter and mix it with 204 g (7.2 oz) water plus 165 g (5.8 oz) of bread flour. This can be used 12 to 16 hours later.
combine the levain, the milk and the eggs, then add the sugars and the flour. Knead by machine for 3-4 minutes (by hand for about 8 minutes) at low speed. Let rest covered with plastic wrap for 1/2 hour. Uncover, add the butter at room temperature in pieces and knead for further 4-5 minutes at slightly higher speed. Take out of the bowl and knead in by hand the chocolate drops.
Place in a deep bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 and 1/2 hours. Line two deep baking dishes of the same size and shape, one with parchment paper (put butter in the pan, the parchment will adhere perfectly to it) and the other with a kitchen towel. Divide the dough in two parts, with one part being somewhat bigger than the other, and spread with your hands the bigger dough piece in the pan lined with parchment paper (that is going to be the bottom of the focaccia). Do the same with the smaller piece of dough in the pan lined with the kitchen towel. Cover with plastic foil and let rest for 2 hours or until you observe a consistent rise. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees.
Prepare the filling by whisking the butter at room temperature with the sugars and the cinnamon. Uncover the risen dough pieces and gently spread the cinnamon butter over them.
Place the blueberries (make sure they are not wet) only over the bottom dough piece (the one lying on parchment paper).
With the help of the kitchen towel, remove the dough piece without the blueberries (the one that will have to go on top) from the baking dish and flip it over the other dough piece (the one covered with blueberries). The cinnamon butter should be on the inside. Now seal with your hands the edges of the filled focaccia.
Make an egg wash whisking 1 egg with a tablespoon of milk and gently brush the focaccia with it. With the tip of your fingers make some little holes in the dough.
Bake at 230 degrees (Celsius, 446 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, then lower to 190 degrees (Celsius, 374 Fahrenheit) and bake for further 20 minutes. Passed this time, remove the focaccia from the pan and bake for further 20-30 minutes (depending on the oven) with the top covered with foil (so it won’t burn).
As soon as the focaccia is out of the oven, brush with melted butter. It will make the top softer and shiny.
CONSIDERATIONS: It is now one year that I started this blog. And one year since I started to be interested in baking bread. And it is also one year since I started my own sourdough culture…. which now can also make pies. We all loved this focaccia-pie and I had to seriously fight to take a picture of the first slice (which you can see above). Next time, hopefully with a functioning oven, I will add more chocolate drops. Blueberries go so well with chocolate… but what really doesn’t?
This bread will participate to the weekly collection of yeastspotting. Thank you Susan!
CONSIDERAZIONI: E’ passato un anno da quando ho cominciato a scrivere questo blog. E un anno da quando ho iniziato ad interessarmi alla panificazione. Ed ancora un anno dalla nascita del mio lievito naturale… che ora puo’ anche farmi lievitare i dolci. Questa focaccia dolce e’ piaciuta a tutti, ed ho dovuto faticare non poco per convincere la mia piccolina a farmi scattare una foto della prima fetta, ancora calda di forno. Come ho scritto sopra (ahime’ solo in inglese), il mio forno e’ definitivamente rotto e cuoce solo sopra. Oggi, per far dorare anche la parte inferiore della focaccia, l’ho dovuta re-infornare a pancia in sotto… domani ordino un forno nuovo. Nel frattempo mi godo un’altra fetta dell’ultima creazione del mio vecchio amico. Un’uscita di scena da grande attore.
Con questa ricetta partecipo alla collezione di ricette di cucchiaio e pentolone.