This is currently my favorite focaccia flavor! And my friends and family are loving it too. A unique Chinese twist on classic focaccia bread.
The recipe combines the richness of salted egg yolk, the fiery kick of chili oil, the aromatic essence of garlic, and the moderate tang from sourdough to create a flavorful and savory bread. If you are looking for a side item to impress, this is it!
Salted egg yolk vs. Cured egg yolk
Salted egg yolk and cured egg yolk are two different methods of preserving and flavoring eggs. Here are the main differences between the two:
- Preservation Method: Salted egg yolks are made by preserving raw egg yolks in a mixture of salt, usually with the addition of clay or other ingredients, for several weeks. The salt helps draw out moisture from the yolks, resulting in a firm and slightly salty texture. On the other hand, cured egg yolks are made by coating raw egg yolks in a mixture of salt and sugar and allowing them to dry out slowly in a controlled environment. The sugar-salt mixture helps remove moisture and inhibits the growth of bacteria, resulting in a firm and concentrated yolk.
- Texture: Salted egg yolks have a crumbly and grainy texture due to the presence of salt and the dehydration process. They are often used grated or mashed to incorporate into dishes or as a filling in various recipes. Cured egg yolks, on the other hand, have a firmer and denser texture. Once cured, they become solid and can be grated or thinly sliced.
- Flavor: Salted egg yolks have a distinct salty and rich flavor profile. The saltiness enhances the natural richness of the egg yolks. They provide a savory umami taste and are commonly used in both savory and sweet dishes, such as salted egg yolk custard buns or salted egg yolk fried rice. Cured egg yolks, on the other hand, have a concentrated and intense flavor. The curing process enhances the egg yolk’s natural richness and creates a more concentrated taste. They are often used as a flavoring ingredient, grated over dishes to add a salty and savory element.
In summary, salted egg yolks are preserved in a salt mixture and have a crumbly texture with a salty flavor, while cured egg yolks are coated with a sugar-salt mixture and have a firm texture with a concentrated savory taste. Both have their unique culinary applications and are beloved for adding depth and flavor to various dishes.
How to prevent the chili oil from burning?
Chili oil can have a low smoke point, which means it can burn easily when exposed to high temperatures in the oven. To prevent chili oil from burning in the oven, I do two things
- Covering the focaccia: Create a barrier between the chili oil and direct heat by oiling tin foil and loosely placing it on top of the dough. OR, my prefered method, is to put a baking sheet on the rack above the focaccia.
- Lowering oven temperature: By cooking the focaccia first at 425F and then lowering the temperature to 375F, you can mitigate the burning that can happen when using chili oil with finely grounded chilis
Looking for more flavorful bread recipes?
- Easy Overnight Sourdough Focaccia
- Chili Oil Sourdough Focaccia
- Zhima Dabing: Sesame Scallion Flatbread (Sourdough or Yeasted)
- Sourdough White Cheddar & Onion Stuffed Bialys
- Spam Fried Rice Sourdough Loaf
Salted Egg Yolk Sourdough Focaccia with Chili Oil & Garlic
- medium size baking dish like an 8x8 pan or a 10" cast iron skillet (like Lodge)
- 25 g sourdough starter
- 212 g water
- 5 g salt
- 250 g all purpose or bread flour
- olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 salted egg yolk crumbled
- flakey sea salt
- Chinese chili oil like lao gan ma
- olive oil
- Mix together sourdough, water, salt, and flour until a sticky dough forms. Let the dough rest for 30min to hydrate.
- Stretch and fold the dough. Take the dough from the sides and stretch it up and over the center of the dough. Rotate and repeat, stretching and folding about 6 times. Coat the dough in olive oil, cover, and let the dough rise overnight for 8-12 hours.
- Generously coat a baking dish with olive oil. Turn the mixing bowl upside down and let gravity do its magic and let the dough fall into the dish. Scrape any leftover dough out of the mixing bowl.
- Fold the four sides of the dough over itself (like closing a cardboard box). Flip it so the seam side is down and let rise uncovered for 4-6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Speckle the top of the dough with Chinese chili oil (to your desired amount), minced garlic, and crumbled salted egg yolk. Then oil your hands and dimple the dough. Finish with a generous sprinkling of flakey sea salt.
- Place the focaccia on the middle rack and place a baking sheet on the rack directly above it. This will prevent the chilis from burning. Alternatively, you can cover the top with aluminum foil. Just make sure to remove the foil near the end and finish baking the focaccia uncovered so the top gets some color. Bake the focaccia for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375F. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the top of the focaccia is a nice golden brown.
- Let the focaccia cool for 15 minutes in the cast iron skillet before removing it from the skillet and to a cooling rack.