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Focaccia

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Focaccia, Photo: Dennis Evans

This recipe comes from Rose Levy Berenbaum, baker extraordinaire and prolific cookbook author. This focaccia recipe is adapted from Berenbaum’s The Bread Bible, an exhaustively researched book about all things floury and doughy that is worth seeking out for bread lovers. This dough is very wet and works best if made with a standing mixer.

Focaccia, Photo: Dennis Evans

Recipe courtesy of Rose Levy Berenbaum (adapted from Berenbaum’s The Bread Bible)

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups (675 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) instant yeast
  • 2 cups (500 ml) plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) room temperature water
  • 3/4 tsp (4 ml) sugar
  • 3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) plus 2 tsp
  • (10 ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) fleur de sel or sea salt (for finishing)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) fresh rosemary needles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using a paddle attachment, combine flour and yeast, then turn mixer on low speed, gradually adding the water until the dough begins to come together. It will be a very liquid dough.
  2. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is a shiny ball and smooth, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and salt, and beat until incorporated into the dough, around three minutes.
  4. Remove the dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise until it doubles in size, around four hours at room temperature.
  5. Coat a sheet pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. The dough should be very loose, so stretch it out onto the sheet, without tearing it. Let it rest for 10 minutes, and stretch again. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C) for one hour before baking. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven to heat up as well.
  7. Uncover the dough and sprinkle on the fleur de sel and/or the rosemary. Drizzle remaining olive oil onto bread.
  8. Take the sheet with the bread and place on the lowest rack in the oven, preferably directly on top of the baking stone. Bake for about 12 to 13 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
This recipe was featured in the article Making bread.  
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