A tantalizing texture combo of soft and chewy, focaccia is a bread that's easy to love. And easy to make! Note that if you use the starter, you'll need to begin the recipe the night before so that the starter can develop (it's only five minutes of hands on time, though!).
extra virgin olive oil or rosemary olive oil(link) optional
1sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped (discard stem)
Prepare the optional starter:
If not using the starter, proceed to next section for the dough, and ignore any reference to the starter.
Add the three ingredients together to a small-medium bowl. Stir with a spoon until combined (no spots of dry flour).
Cover and let sit on the counter at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours. If you need more time than that - say, overnight - you can refrigerate it for a portion of the time; bring to room temperature again before use.
The starter is ready to use when it's expanded and bubbly, with a lovely yeasty scent.
Prepare the dough:
Add all of the dough ingredients, plus all of the starter (if using; if not, make sure you read the notes below), to a large mixing bowl (if proceeding by hand) or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined and then knead for 5 minutes (use the dough hook of the stand mixer).
Form the dough into a smooth ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise at room temperature for an hour. It will have about doubled in size.
Spread a tablespoon or so of olive oil over the surface of a 12" pizza pan. Use your fingers or a paper towel to coat it completely. (Note that a paper towel will absorb some of the oil, so be prepared to use more.)
Scrape the dough from the bowl onto the pan. Use the pads of your fingers to push the dough out towards the edges of the pan, leaving a 1/2" margin all the way around (to leave room for the dough to rise and expand). You'll want the dough to be just under 1" thick.
Cover the pan and allow the dough to rest for 30 to 60 minutes until puffy - the dough will likely have expanded all the way out to the edge of pan.
Preheat the oven to 425° and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.
For the brine:
While the dough rises, stir together the salt and warm water until the salt is completely dissolved.
When the dough finishes its rise, uncover, and brush the top of the dough with the brine. You don't need to saturate the dough, but it should be shiny with the water.
For the bake:
Using your fingertips or the central knuckle of your forefinger (if you have long fingernails), press deep dimples into the dough in an irregular pattern.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil — or a combo of evoo and rosemary-infused evoo — over the dough, letting the oil pool in the dimples.
Sprinkle flaky salt and chopped rosemary leaves over the dough.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden.
Remove to a cooling rack, and let cool until touchable. Slice and serve!
Focaccia is at its absolute best when served on the same day it's baked. But, it also has its charms the next day - store well wrapped at room temperature. Refresh by toasting or reheating in a low oven for a few minutes. If you promise to stand next to the oven, you can also toast it under the broiler for just a few minutes.* If you'd rather not do the starter, that's okay. Increase the dough ingredients to 3 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup very warm water. Skip the starter directions (and any reference to the starter), and begin with mixing the dough.** One big pinch instant yeast is about 1/16th of a teaspoon. If you have a 1/4 teaspoon, dip the spoon into the yeast vertically slanted and fill it half full. Then, shake some out. Don't worry about being precise here, because it's just the starter.
Rosemary Focaccia was originally published on https://soupaddict.com/rosemary-focaccia/