I’m back to spelt. I’ve made several recipes from other books that used spelt, and I’ve been pretty successful. Spelt is closely related to wheat, but many people find it milder and sweeter than whole wheat flour. You can substitute spelt flour for whole wheat or all-purpose flour in most recipes with no problems. However, spelt tends to soak up liquid more readily than whole wheat or all-purpose flour, so you may find yourself adding a bit more liquid than you normally would. This is a good flour to start out with if you are curious about baking with whole grain flours.
This is a pretty simple lean yeast dough recipe. It uses a mixture of spelt and all-purpose flour, kosher salt, olive oil and water. The magic of focaccia comes from the toppings you use as well as liberally drenching the dough with olive oil right before baking it. I used finely chopped rosemary and kosher salt as my toppings, and we ate the focaccia with soup.
The bread was light and springy, with a slight chew. It didn’t have much flavor outside the topping, but that’s to be expected with focaccia. We ate half of a pan for dinner, then reheated the rest for lunch the next day. The leftovers were a little dry and the crust wasn’t quite as crispy as it had been, but overall, it was still pretty good.
Boyce says to make either one big cookie sheet of focaccia or three nine-inch pans of focaccia. When I divided the dough into three portions, the resulting focaccia was too thin and the edges were pretty dry. I’d suggest dividing the dough in half instead. I did this the second time I made the focaccia and it was much better.
I have a minor annoyance with the yeast-based recipes in this book. Boyce calls for yeast amounts by package. I buy jars of yeast, so every time I make one of her yeast-based recipes, I have to translate that “package” measurement into teaspoons. As I said, minor yet annoying.