If you like focaccia (who doesn’t??), you need to try making your own. It’s so simple it’s almost a shame to buy it when you can easily make it at home. Literally all you have to do is mix the ingredients in your mixer, let it rise and then pat into a round and pop it in the oven. It’s a little more complicated than that but really that’s the gist of it.
- 2 3/4 c. lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 T. instant yeast
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/4 c. plus 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. dried rosemary leaves (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Mix yeast, salt, sugar, rosemary, 1/4 c. olive oil and water in a mixing bowl.
- Mix in the flour using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 12 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with an empty broiler tray on the bottom shelf.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of large orange or grapefruit. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn.
- Flatten the dough into a 3/4 inch thick round, using your hands or a rolling-pin and a minimal amount of flour.
- Sprinkle with rosemary, coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper. Finish with a light drizzle of the remaining olive oil on the surface of the dough. Allow the dough to rest and rise for 20 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, place the cookie sheet on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the crust is medium brown. If your bread doesn’t brown don’t fret. Place it under the broiler for a few minutes and it will brown quickly. Cut into wedges and serve warm as is or with butter or an olive oil and balsamic dipping sauce.
It’s possible I did not follow the recipe exactly as after I added what I thought was 6 1/2 cups of flour, the dough seemed very runny. I added another cup. If your dough seems too runny, you may want to add more flour as well.
I sprinkled my bread with dried thyme instead of dried rosemary because I used all the dried rosemary I had in the house for the dough.
One final word of warning: go easy on the pepper! I didn’t, and the focaccia had major bite! (I like my focaccia sans bite.) Eat warm straight out of the oven or dip into soup. I dipped mine into the Creamy Italian Chicken and Noodle Soup I made for dinner tonight.