Super yummy and super easy. You can do no wrong with this foccaccia – it comes out every time. As you will note in the directions, it is a very sticky dough. This is the only way it has ever worked for me. The more classic dough in which you knead by hand never, ever comes out for me. It always tastes like cardboard.
Give this focaccia a try, you can prepare it plain with no toppings and just a little salt, or with some of the other ideas I mention below. Either way, your home will have a heavenly scent after baking this bread! Enjoy!
pinch of sugar
2 cups warm water
1 envelope dry yeast
4 cups white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
Several pinches sea salt
1. Add a pinch of sugar to 2 cups of warm water. Immediately after, dissolve the yeast in the sugar water. (The sugar will help the yeast develop). Wait about 10-15 minutes for the yeast to foam. If you do not see a foam on the top of the water, the yeast has not properly developed and you need to start over, otherwise your dough will not rise.
2. While you are waiting for the yeast to develop, measure 4 cups of flour and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, the yeast mixture and one tablespoon of olive oil.
3. Mix the ingredients. I do this by hand with a large spoon. I admit I do not own a food processor, so I am sure you can try this recipe with a food processor as it would probably be easier, but I cannot guarantee the results. I do not knead the dough with my hands because it is a very, very sticky dough. This dough will not look like the standard pizza or focaccia dough you are probably used to. Again, it is sticky and there is no need to form into a ball, just mix by hand with a large spoon for about 5-8 minutes.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough in this bowl. Cover with a cloth and place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place. Let the dough rise, about 1.5 hours.
5. Generously oil a baking sheet the size of 9×12. Deflate the dough with a spoon and transfer it on the baking sheet. Put a little olive oil on your fingertips and stretch the dough to all corners of the pan. The dough will be sticky and that is the reason for putting a little olive oil on your fingers.
6. Once the dough is stretched on the pan, cover with cloth and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.
7. While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
8. Before placing the focaccia in the oven, use your fingertips to make indentations in the dough. Drizzle olive oil over the dough and sprinkle with coarse salt. Add what other toppings you like: rosemary or sliced tomatoes or olives.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes covered with foil and for another 5 minutes uncovered. I have to cover mine, because otherwise it burns. Ovens seem to be a little temperamental, so you might have to adjust the baking time or covering with foil to suit your oven.
10. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!