We were maxed out on sweets today, so I decided to make a batch of 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 (240 grams)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packedt)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing (60 mg)
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 or small bowl. 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. It should be slightly sticky according to Recipezaar, but mine really wasn’t. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or knead in a stand mixer with dough hook or paddle.
Place the dough in a large bowl that’s been coated with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Preheat oven to 450 F. (230 C) and lightly oil a rectangular baking dish or preheat a pizza stone. Press the dough into the dish, 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. If you decided to use a pizza stone, omit the dish and do the previous step on a cookie sheet covered with parchment.
Put the dish in the oven or slide parchment onto pizza stone and bake for 25 minutes or until nice and brown.