Hey 1995: Here’s Your Focaccia
I remember when I was first introduced to focaccia. It was 20 years ago and it was delicious. The current flat bread fad would do well to remember it’s forefather. Sometimes fluffy has a place that crunchy bread or fatty crackers just doesn’t fill.
So here’s a focaccia I recently made one night after work for an early evening pot luck. You can make this, rise it and be out the door in less than 90 minutes.
1.5 cup warm water
4 teaspoons instant active dry yeast-bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or turbinado sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup high gluten flour (or use 3 cups total of all purpose, I just happen to have both.)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
In the bowl of a stand mixer place warm water, yeast and sugar. Add two cups of flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix lightly. Add the remaining cup of flour. Mix for about a minute until you have a cohesive ball of dough. It will be a little sticky. Add 1/4 cup of flour if needed. Remove the bowl from the stand, and paddle from the bowl. Pour a little oil over the dough and move the mass around the bowl until it is coated lightly with oil.
Oil a 13×9 cookie sheet well. Manipulate the dough into a rectangle and spread it out on the sheet the best you can. It will be a springy. Stretch the dough without ripping it. Cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise 40 minutes.
Preheat oven 275 degrees.
Remove the dish towel, make dimples in the dough with your finger tips, pushing the dough into the corners of the pan. Press your fingers to the bottom of the pan, without poking holes completely through. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the dough, as evenly as possible. Distribute the oil best you can with your fingers without deflating the dough too much. Sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and paprika. Now is when you’d add other flavorings, cheese and caramelized onions for example. Put the bread in oven and bake 35 minutes. Up the heat to 350 and bake 5 minutes longer. Or bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Pour over the remaining olive oil. Remove from the pan to cool. Cut into squares and serve.