Yesterday at Pimlico Farmers Market I bought a bunch of wild garlic from one of the vegetable stalls. First time I’d ever seen it on offer there. And the first time that I’ve ever come across fresh wild garlic, apart from longingly gazing at illustrations of it in cookbooks. So today, already a little panicky that it might wilt in the fridge before I get to do anything with it, I decided to use some of it in a focaccia. A no-knead focaccia, to be precise.
- 250g strong white flour
- 5g salt
- 4g fresh yeast*
- 185g water
- chopped wild garlic – amount depends how much you like the taste of wild garlic. I like it a lot, and used about 1/3 of the bunch. Next time I wont forget to weigh it…
* Use half the amount if using dried active yeast, and a third of the amount if using instant/quick yeast.
Mix all the ingredients a bowl until it comes together in a rough dough.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Pinch a piece of dough, stretch and fold it over into the middle of the dough. Repeat, working yourself around the dough until you end up at the beginning. Cover the bowl and let rest for another 15 minutes.
Repeat the folding of the dough.
At this point, B and I decided to go for a walk in Battersea Park, since it was far too sunny to stay in doors all day (besides, I really felt like eating a soft ice cream, once upon a time – in the good old days of my childhood – called a 99 flake. I dimly remember it also costing 99p back then, whereas now it costs an arm and a leg, or £2.20). So I put the dough into the fridge, and when I came back home two hours later (and one soft ice cream heavier), I did another round of stretch and fold. By this time the dough had developed an elastic and smooth texture. Well, as smooth as it can get with all the wild garlic pieces.
I then put it back into the fridge for another hour or so.
(If you don’t have a park near you to go for a walk in, repeat the stretch and fold 4 times every 15 minutes. Leave to rise for an hour on the counter or refrigerate for several hours until shaping or putting in a tin.)
Preheat the oven to 230˚C (top and bottom heat).
Grease a small roasting tin (20x25cm) and gently squish the dough flat and into the corners of the tin. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for ca. 45-60 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingers, sprinkle olive oil and sea salt on top, and bake for ca. 20-25 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack – if you are patient enough. I wasn’t. Best eaten on the same day.