High moisture flat breads like focaccia can be temperamental when it comes to humidity. You may find you need to add more milk or flour to get the right consistency. The instructions are written with a beginner in mind; this recipe is not as intimidating as it looks. A quick note on measuring: I use sifted flour, and sift it right into the measuring cup. If you tend to scoop yours up out of the bag, start with less, as it may be more compacted.
- Scald the milk, and cool to lukewarm, not too hot, or it will kill the yeast (about 100F).
- Mix flour, yeast, oil and milk in a medium bowl, cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle on salt and mix dough in an electric mixer with dough hook on low medium speed, adding flour as needed until it is sticky and stretchy, and comes away from the sides of the bowl. (You can knead by hand, it will just take longer.).
- Let dough rest, covered, 30 minutes, knead again for about 5 minutes. The dough should be very sticky, but hold together in a ball.
- Rinse and drain artichoke hearts, and finely chop.
- Mix artichokes, tomatoes, and cheese, set aside.
- The tomatoes will absorb any excess moisture from artichokes and soften nicely.
- Let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Scrape out onto a floured countertop or large cutting board.
- Shape the dough into a rough rectangle.
- Roll with a floured rolling pin to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
- Top roughly 2/3 of the dough with cheese, tomatoes, and artichokes, the mixture should be damp, but not dripping wet.
- Fold dough into thirds, like an envelope, with the empty third over the center, and the other side over that, and roll again gently, until the fillings just begin to be visible through the top of the dough.
- Place dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.
- Preheat oven to 450F; let dough rise, loosely covered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until puffy and soft.
- Brush dough with olive oil. Use fingers to make several small dimples in bread.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt, and more cheese if you like.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotating pan after 10 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before cutting into squares.