Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Leek & Shiitake Mushroom Foccacia

Even though Gérard lives and works in a remote area, his home/bakery is clearly a magnet for local food and nutrition enthusiasts, including serious home bakers, many of whom are long-time friends. That is how I met Bob Low, Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Vermont (UVM), who is currently teaching a course on endocrinology and metabolism, including nutrition, at UVM Medical School. Professor Low - an avid home baker and long-time levain aficionado - is interested in the nutritional benefits of levain-fermented bread. From what I understood, he is currently reviewing the existing research. I was all ears, as you can imagine, and can only hope that his synopsis will soon be made available. The conversation around the table was rendered all the more lively by the fact that Gérard poured Sancerre all around and served a marvelous foccacia covered with fragrant and meaty mushrooms (grown nearby) and other local organic produce. Gérard kindly allowed me to share his recipe on Farine.
Ingredients: 1 flatbread (dough made with firm levain; hydrated at least at 80%; containing 30% freshly milled whole-grain wheat, rye and spelt flours) 400 g shiitake mushrooms, stem removed, sliced (oyster mushrooms can be substituted) 1 leek, sliced and parboiled for a few minutes with a pinch of baking soda (to make it tender) 1 large onion, sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Olive oil Clarified butter
  1. Sauté the onion in a mixture of olive oil and clarified butter
  2. Add the garlic when the onion is golden
  3. Cook at very low heat for about 10 minutes (do not let the garlic turn golden)
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook about 15 minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Preheat oven at 475ºF/246ºC
  8. Slice open the flatbread and drizzle some olive oil on both open faces
  9. Spread the mushroom-onion mix on both
  10. Grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano over the mushrooms
  11. Bake for 15 minutes
  12. Sprinkle the cut-up and parboiled leek on top
  13. Slice and eat hot with a glass of cold Sancerre. Bliss ensues...
The foccacia goes to Susan, from Wild Yeast for Yeastpotting.


  1. That looks very delicious. I knew a similar recipe for a pizza style flatbread, using tomatos, mozzarella and basil, but a flatbread with mushrooms sounds great (and the pictures left me drooling)

  2. This looks delicious but, what happens to the leeks? Do they get sautéd with the onion in step one or elsewhere?

  3. @Stephanie, I will definitely make your version next summer as it must be heavenly.
    @Jeremy, thanks for stopping by! You would have enjoyed this lunch...
    @David, you are so right. In the list of ingredients, I had indicated that the leeks should be cleaned, chopped up and parboiled with some baking soda (to keep them green and tender) but forgotten to specify that they should be sprinkled on the flabread as it comes out of the oven. Thank you for pointing it out. I have amended the recipe.

  4. Foccacia is so great served this way - pizza style! Delicious and quite seasonal those leeks.



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