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Published January 22nd 2019
A recipe for a delicious, quintessential Italian food
This is a quick and easy recipe for bakers short on time or those who are new to making focaccia. This recipe substitutes instant yeast for a much faster rising time than those using a starter (lievito madre). I learned to make focaccia from an Italian friend, and this simply delicious recipe stays true to those foundations.
1 package active-dry yeast 70 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil 420g (3.5 cups) all-purpose flour 2 tsp sea salt
Topping: Rosemary Sea salt
1. Put the lukewarm water in a bowl and dissolve the honey. Stir in the packet of yeast and let it sit for until bubbles appear (at least 5 minutes).
2. Mix the flour and salt together. Never add salt directly to yeast – it may inactivate it. Add the flour, salt, and 70 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil to the yeast mixture. You may do this with a mixer or by hand. Knead for about 5 minutes. The dough may be a bit sticky. If it is too sticky to work with, add a bit of flour. Shape the dough into a smooth ball.
3. Place the dough into a bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Ensure no draft can reach the dough. I typically place it in a warm oven heated up for a few seconds – just enough to make it warm – don't make it too hot!
Let it rise until it has doubled – about an hour, but it may take less time depending on conditions.
4. Shape the dough into a rectangle on an oiled baking sheet.* Focaccia can vary in thickness depending on personal preference. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise for another 15-20 minutes. Near the end of this rising time, Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. *Note: The dough may be resistant to stretching at first. If this happens, let it rest for a few minutes and then continue stretching it into a rectangle
5. Using your index finger, poke holes in the dough – I just do this randomly, but you may wish to employ a more ordered method. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the dough. I don't measure this – focaccia is intended to highlight the beauty of olive oil and it can take a lot of it. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt as desired. You may stop there or add more toppings. I chose to also make a focaccia with tomatoes sliced in half. Press these lightly into the dough.