We were maxed out on sweets today, so I decided to make a batch of basic focaccia. I can’t think of any yeast bread that I don’t like, but focaccia is one I really love because it’s different everywhere you go and it’s fun to see how other people make it. This version, which I found on Recipezaar, is about as basic as they come, but very good. It’s chewy, but has a soft tight crumb and not too many extraneous things like cheese, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Those things are fine, but I like something a little lighter before a meal and this recipe hit the spot.
I halved it, “imperialized” some of the metric, and re-wrote it the way I made it. I also cut the sage. I like sage, but not in focaccia. P.S. Happy Labor Day! I hope you all have big plans. I’m going to be here at home baking.
- 1 cup warm water, divided use
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour (375 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)
- coarse sea salt, to sprinkle
- Combine 1/2 cup of the water and the packet of yeast in a large glass measuring cup. Add the sugar and let sit for 10 minutes or until it becomes very bubbly. Stir in the olive oil and rosemary.
- Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the water mixture to the dry mixture and stir well. Add the remaining ½ cup of water, about a tablespoon at a time, stirring well. Watch the consistency of the dough and add more or less water as needed. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or knead in a stand mixer with dough hook or paddle (I use the dough hook).
- Place the dough in a large bowl that’s been coated with olive oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 F. and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
- Press the dough into a rectangle of about 16 by 8 directly onto the parchment. Cover and allow to rise for another 20 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingers and brush with more oil. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
- Put the dish in the oven or slide parchment onto a preheated pizza stone (I don't use a stone) and bake for 25 minutes or until nice and brown.
- Note: You can also make this with fast-rising yeast. If using fast-rising or "instant" yeast, put the yeast in the bowl with the flour, sugar and salt. Add half cup of water, oil and rosemary. Stir well, then add remaining 1/2 cup of water spoonfuls at a time until dough is proper consistency.