Golden Focaccia

Recipe by duonyte
READY IN: 19hrs 20mins




  • Make the starter by mixing the yeast and water, then adding the flour. Stir until the flour is incorporated.
  • Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours. The starter will be bubbly.
  • To make the dough, mix the active dry yeast (if using it) with a pinch of sugar and 2 tbl of the water and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes, until it's bubbly and frothy.
  • Combine the dissolved yeast or the instant yeast (whichever you are using) with the starter and the remaining dough ingredients and mix or knead - by hand, in your stand mixer or in your bread machine on the dough cycle - until you have a soft, smooth dough. A stand mixer will take about 7 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour.
  • Gently deflate it and allow it to rise for another hour - it should have doubled in bulk from its original volume.
  • Lightly grease a 18" by 13" baking skeet with a rim, or two 9"x13" pans with vegetable oil spray. Drizzle olive oil on top of the spray. (The spray keeps the bread from sticking, the olive oil gives the bottom crust crunch and flavor).
  • Gently pull and shape the dough into a rough rectangle and pat into the pan or pans. When the pieces start to shrink back, stop patting. Wait 15 minutes and pat further towards the edges of the pan(s). Repeat once more, if necessary, until the dough is close to covering the bottom of the pan(s).
  • Cover and let the dough rise until it is very puffy. This will take about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Gently dimple the dough at irregular intervals with your fingers, pressing down firmly, but not abruptly - you do not want it to deflate too much.
  • Spritz heavily with warm water (I don't always do this), drizzle with 2 tbl olive oil (or enough to collect a bit in the dimples), then sprinkle with the rosemary, black papper, and salt, to taste.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. If baking in two pans, reverse the pans, and continue baking until the focaccia is light golden brown, about another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately turn out onto a rack to cool.
  • Note1: I usually use 1/2 cup warm milk, as I rarely have powdered milk around.
  • Note2:Thyme is great instead of rosemary.