I haven't been to a Macaroni Grill in years, but what I remember most about the restaurant (other than the opera singers) is their Rosemary Focaccia. I've made the Macaroni Grill copycat, and while it is very good, it calls for semolina flour. I don't usually have the semolina flour, but I always have all-purpose and think this all-purpose flour version is just as good.
The original Rosemary Focaccia is from The Gourmet Cookbook. This is a halved version which makes just enough to fill a 9 inch square or a 12x8 inch rectangular dish.
In the past couple of years I've been a little creative with it and have baked it in a 12x8 inch glass pan with various toppings. The red around the edge is sun dried tomato pesto and the middle part has olive oil, rosemary, peppers and Asiago cheese. The glass pan gives the focaccia crustier edges, so if you have a glass pan you might want to pull it out for this one.
Update: Here's the latest photo. This is just the dough right after the second rise and ready to go in the oven. I really like how the glass dish makes focaccia a little crustier, so these days I almost always pull out the glass dish for rosemary focaccia. You can also use this version as a sandwich bread. I don't think focaccia sandwiches are as trendy as they used to be, but who cares right?
- 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons water 7 oz
- 1 ⅛ teaspoon active dry yeast half a packet
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading 320 grams
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided use
- 1 teaspoon table salt or use 1 ¼ for saltier flavor
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Stir 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand for 5 minutes. If using quick or rapid rise yeast, skip this step and just mix the yeast with the flour.
- Add flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 ¼ teaspoons table salt and beat until a dough forms. With a dough hook (or you can do it by hand) knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Note: Lately I've just been leaving it in the mixing bowl. This is a soft dough.
- Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Press dough evenly into a 9 inch square baking pan lined with non-stick foil or parchment. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Stir together rosemary and remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil. Make shallow indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with rosemary oil, letting it pool in indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 minutes.
- Immediately invert a rack over pan and flip focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.