Italian’s love their focaccia bread. Served as a snack or accompanied with pasta and roast meats. One secret for making good focaccia is don’t skimp on the olive oil!
Focaccia, is a flat, slightly raised bread, not unlike pizza crust. For many parts of Italy focaccia has been especially popular near the sea, where humidity in the air inhibits the full rising of conventional bread dough.
Traditionally the bread is flavored with only coarse salt or rosemary. But, you can top your focaccia with onion, tomatoes, black or green olives, even wisps of lemon peel.
1 7-gram packet of active yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups water
3/4 cups olive oil
3 tablespoon rosemary
Dissolve yeast in 1⁄2 cup warm water in a small bowl and let stand 10 minutes, then add 2 tbsp. of the oil. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a small saucepan over low, heat until warm. Remove from heat and add the rosemary leaves, and set aside.
Add yeast mixture and 1 1⁄4 cups water into the flour and stir until dough becomes too stiff to stir. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, make a well in the middle of the flour and water mixture. Pour the rosemary oil into the center and stir until incorporated. Knead until smooth. Shape dough into a ball, transfer to a large oiled bowl, and cover with a damp cloth. Allow dough to rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 hours until doubles.
Use 1/4 cup of the oil to grease a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" baking pan. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin so it fits the pan. Place dough in pan, spreading it out evenly, then se your fingertips to make indentations all over top of focaccia. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup oil over the focaccia. Sprinkle with coarse salt and cover with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden, about 30 minutes. Set on a rack to cool. Drizzle with olive oil and season with more salt if desired.