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CIN CIN AT HOME: Soughdough focaccia

30 March 2020

Here’s the recipe for our ever popular Cin Cin Focaccia, baked daily at our Western Road restaurant:

100g levain (comprising of 30g starter, 35g water, 35g flour – mixed and allowed to ferment for 4-5 hours until very active)

300g luke warm water

50g extra virgin olive oil

500g strong white bread flour – best quality you can find

10g salt

2 sprigs of rosemary – leaves picked off

20g additional water

In the restaurant, we do not actually have a starter because our levain is constantly rolling. What we take out, we feed back in, ready for the next days bread. But suffice to say our levain is 50-50 water to flour.

  • Start by weighing the 300g luke warm (blood temperature) water into a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Add in the levain – ensuring it floats which is an indication its active. If it does not float then continue to feed your levain at regular intervals for a day or 2 longer.
  • Next add the olive oil and using your fingers in a dough hook shape- mix the contents of the bowl together- this evenly distributes everything.
  • Add in the flour and mix again. You will have a rough looking mixture. As long as there is no dry bits of flour and the edges of the bowl are scraped clean you will be fine. Cover and place in the airing cupboard for 1 hour. This resting period allows the moisture and gluten to relax and distribute itself nice and evenly.
  • After 1 hour of rest period- add in the salt, rosemary leaves and additional water. Really pull the dough apart and mix it all thoroughly. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Next is the folding stage- every 30 minutes fold the dough over itself at the north, south, east and west points. This stretches the dough and develops the gluten without the need to knead. Continue this folding at 30 minute intervals for the next 2-3 hours- placing it back in the airing cupboard each time.
  • Now the dough can bulk ferment. Leave to prove for 5-6 hours. As a guide if you start the dough at 9am in the morning- this will take you up to tea time. If the dough seems quite active and had nearly doubled volume- place in the fridge overnight. If not keep it out until bedtime – but still place in the fridge overnight.
  • The next morning, line a baking tray that is approximately 5cm deep with butter and flour – then generously drizzle olive oil. Scrape the dough into the tray and allow to relax for 2 or 3 hours, you will see it gradually seep to the edges and start to rise again.
  • Pre heat your oven to its hottest setting (220 Celsius) with a shallow tray of boiling water in the bottom – the steam helps with the crust.
  • Stud the dough with rosemary and Malden sea salt.
  • Place in the oven and bake initially for 15 minutes with the water in the oven. Then take out the water and continue to bake for approximately 12 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing!