Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

Pizza Dough Sponge Ingredients:

Pizza Dough Dry Ingredients:

Baking Pans:

Oil For Top of Dough:

Optional Toppings For Dough:

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1½ cups warm water.
  2. Add 1½ cups flour and ¼ cup olive oil; stir for 1 minute. Batter will have the consistency of soft pudding.
  3. This is your sponge.
  4. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rest in a warm place, free from drafts, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the sponge ferments, the better the flavor of the pizza dough.
  5. Transfer the sponge to a heavy duty mixer bowl.
  6. Add salt and 2 cups of flour to the work bowl with the sponge in it.
  7. Using an electric mixer or the paddle attachment for a stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  8. Remove mixer or paddle attachments from bowl.
  9. Insert a dough hook into the stand mixer.
  10. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that is smooth and elastic.
  11. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.
  12. Knead dough for 30 seconds.
  13. Divide the pizza dough in half and let rest on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
  14. Generously oil each cake pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  15. Shape the dough into ½-inch thick rounds.
  16. Place each dough round in a cake pan.
  17. Cover the pans tightly with plastic wrap.
  18. Let rise for 1½ hours.
  19. Preheat oven to 400°.
  20. Ten minutes before baking, gently dimple the dough with your fingertips and drizzle evenly with olive oil. Authentic focaccia is quite oily, so I start with ¼ cup and if necessary add more oil.
  21. Sprinkle with optional cheese, dried herbs, and sea salt.
  22. Bake the focaccia until golden, about 25 minutes.
  23. Remove from pans and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Comments

Makes two 9-inch rounds.

Two pans of focaccia bread will easily serve 8 to 12 people.

If you only want to make one pan of focaccia bread you can make the other dough round into a cheese pizza.

If you bake both rounds and have leftover bread, cut the leftovers into small cubes and make a batch of croutons.

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