Yield: Serves 12-14
Making focaccia is not hard – it just takes time. Most of the time is spent waiting (or doing other things) between a series of simple steps. All in all, it takes about 3 hours. Serve it warm, with olive oil for dipping, or for a real treat, with the optional tomato and basil topping.
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 TB sugar
- 1 packet (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 5 cups flour, plus additional for kneading
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary, divided
- 1/2 cup olive oil + 2 TB for sheet pan + 2-3 TB for topping
- flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut in half (optional)
- Combine the warm water and sugar in a large bowl. (Run water from the tap on the inside of your wrist. It should feel a bit warmer then your body temperature – not hot). Add yeast and set this aside for 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy and fragrant.
- Add the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary and 1/2 cup olive oil to the yeast mixture. Stir until a sticky dough comes together.
- Sprinkle the counter with flour. Turn dough out onto counter and knead for approximately 10 minutes, or until dough takes shape and is springy to the touch. Add flour as necessary to prevent sticking, one tablespoon at a time.
- Place dough into a well-oiled bowl and cover it with plastic. Set it aside in a warm place to rise for approximately 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Coat a 18x13x1 sheet pan with 2 TB olive oil. Press the dough out to fit the sheet pan. If it pulls back, continue to gently stretch it to the corners. It will yield eventually. Cover the sheet pan lightly with plastic and allow the dough to rise another 1 hour. While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 425.
- Use your fingertips to add dimples across the dough. Sprinkle dough evenly with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining chopped rosemary, and flaky sea salt. If you are using olives, add them now and press them into the dough a bit so they bake into the bread.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
To serve with a topping:
- 3 cups roughly chopped red, green, and yellow tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix chopped tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut focaccia into slices and top with tomato mixture.
PS – I didn’t have rosemary last time I made this, so I skipped it. Pictured below. Still delicious!