I was probably six years old when I first experienced the wonders of focaccia at the local Italian supermarket. Enchanted by the contrasting textures and bright aromatic toppings, I was hooked for life. Now, eleven years later I have gleaned enough information through trial and error to perfect the simple and satisfying focaccia. I often pair this focaccia with any Italian meal, or use to make porchetta sandwiches.
1 ¾ Cup of Water (Lukewarm)
1 Packet of Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
5 ¼ Cup of All Purpose Flour
¾ Cup of Olive Oil
¾ Tablespoon of Kosher Salt + 2 teaspoons for topping
2 Tablespoons of Rosemary
Mix water, yeast, and sugar. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm area while allowing yeast to proof, about 20 minutes.
Combine the yeast mixture with 5 cups of the flour, ½ of a cup of Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon of salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Using the dough hook knead in the stand mixer for 7 minutes. If the dough is sticky add some of the remaining flour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead with your hands on the counter. Again if sticky add some of the remaining flour.
Add a teaspoon of the remaining oil to the mixing bowl. Return dough to bowl, cover with tea towel and place in a warm location for an hour to an hour and a half.
After rising pour the remaining ¼ cup of Olive Oil in to a jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides). Then shape the dough in the pan to fit, flip the dough over and use your knuckles to poke holes in the dough. This is what gives focaccia its characteristic bumpy appearance. At this point the dough should be coated in oil. Evenly sprinkle the top with rosemary and salt. Cover and let it rise for an hour.
Preheat oven to 425°
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when knocked on. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into rectangles.