This "light as a feather" bread is spongy and full of air holes, not leaden like many focaccias. Try it with BLT, fresh basil, sprinkled with vinaigrette for a fabulous sandwich or a bacon/egg. This dough also can be used for deep dish pizza crust. Recipe from "Cook's Illustrated".
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fast rising yeast
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 1 medium baking potato, peeled and quartered (about 9 ounces)
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup warm water, 105-115 degrees
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves (I usually omit)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (or 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt)
- FOR THE DOUGH:.
- Boil potato in water and simmer until tender (about 25 minutes).
- Drain potato well and cool.
- Grate potato through large holes on box grater, fine disk on ricer or food processor.
- Reserve 1-1/3 cups lightly packed potato.
- Meanwhile, In food processor mix or pulse yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water until combined.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, until bubbly (about 20 minutes).
- Add remaining dough ingredients (including the remaining 3 cups flour), including reserved potato.
- Process dough for about 40 seconds until it's smooth and elastic.
- Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- let rise in warm area until dough is puffy and doubled in volume (about an hour).
- With wet hands (to prevent sticking) press dough flat into oiled or sprayed with Pam 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 jelly roll pan (I sprinkle a little flour on top of dough and gently pat it into shape. I don't make it quite as large, since I like it really thick).
- Cover dough with lightly greased plastic wrap (dough will stick otherwise) and let rise in warm area, about 45 minutes to an hour, until dough is puffy and doubled.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Adjust oven rack to lower middle position.
- With two wet fingers, dimple risen dough at regular intervals.
- Drizzle dough with oil, and sprinkle evenly with the rosemary, salt, landing some in pools of oil.
- Bake until focaccia bottom is golden and crisp, 23-25 minutes.
- Yields: one 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch rectangle or 2 8 inch rounds.
- *Note: focaccia can be kept on counter for several hours and reheated just before serving.
- Or, wrap cooled focaccia in plastic wrap, and then foil and freeze for up to 1 month (unwrap and defrost in 325°F oven until soft, about 15 minutes).
- Parmesan Focaccia: substitute 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese for the rosemary and coarse sea salt.
- Focaccia with Black Olives and Thyme: substitute 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leave and 24 pitted large black olives (one per oil-filled dimple) for rosemary.
I just made this and I have to tell you it is foolproof. I usually do not make anything with yeast because it always seems like alot of work and my bread does not rise. This came out great and it was very easy. I do not like Rosemary so I used Parmasean cheese and Pampered Chef garlic bread seasoning. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks Roxygirl!
This is an excellent Focaccia. Very light yet crisp with a nice texture inside. The instructions were very well written. I added parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning on top and it was absolutely wonderful. Thanks Roxygirl.
Roxygirl, holy cow this is FABULOUS. I'm going to have to handcuff myself to something so I don't polish it all off by myself tonight. I made a beautiful plain focaccia sprinkled with course salt with half the dough, and with the other half prepared a pizza using Marg's Pizza Sauce recipe (#1005). Lovely. I can't say enough good things about this bread. I used bread flour for the most part, although I subbed in about 1/2 c of soy flour with a half tsp vital wheat gluten to bump up the fiber and protein. Thanks so much for posting this.