Wednesday, April 7, 2010


- 1 1/4 cup Warm Water
- 1 tbsp Yeast
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 1/4 cup Bread Flour (may not need all)
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- Pinch Sugar
- Additional Kosher Salt (for sprinkling on top)
- Additional Olive Oil for baking
- Toppings you desire (i.e., fresh herbs, sliced tomatoes, olives, roasted garlic, cheeses, prosciutto, etc)

- Whisk 1/4 cup of water and yeast together in a large bowl to dissolve. Add a pinch sugar. Set aside for at least 5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy/frothy.
- Add remaining 1 cup warm water and whisk in one cup of flour until smooth.
- Add olive oil and salt. It's important that you do not add these ingredients until this step. If you add them too early, it will kill the yeast.
- Add flour, handfuls at a time, until a smooth dough is formed. It's ok if it's still sticky and you can hold it covered in flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured table and knead for at least 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes! really makes a difference). When kneading the dough, keep folding over the dough and push away from you with your palms. Your goal is to force the yeast into horizontal and vertical strings which is accomplished by the constant folding/pushing. Do not tear the dough. The dough should push evenly and feel elastic.
- Turn dough into a ball by tucking under the sides constantly while rotating. The dough is ready when it bounces back when indented with your finger. If it doesn't bounce back, continue the kneading process.
- Place dough in a large greased bowl.
- Let rise at least 45 minutes in a warm, draft free place (room temp is fine, but I like to preheat my oven to 175 or so, turn it off, and place the dough in there to rise).
- After the dough has risen, you can use it at this point. If you do not wish to use until the next day, you can refrigerate it overnight at this point.
- Prepare baking sheet (or whatever you plan to bake in) for the focaccia by coating liberally with olive oil.
- Punch down the dough and transfer to the baking sheet. Stretch the dough so it covers the bottom. It's ok to be rough and poke holes/dimples. Make a lot of dimples.
- Top with your desired toppings and brush liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt as well.
- Let the dough rise an additional 10 minutes (longer if a thick focaccia is desired).
- Back in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.