Focaccia

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    1

    Rectangular Focaccia or 3 9 inch Round Focaccie

Appears in

Focaccia dough is a moist dough that only gets better with age. Stored in the refrigerator, the dough develops a more complex flavor, and you can pull part or all of it out to make dinner—just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping. You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pour of olive oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables and cheese, or a meaty tomato sauce. However you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top—especially around the edges—for a crunchy golden crust.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil for the bowl and pans
  • 1 package active dry yeast Pinch of sugar
  • cups spelt flour
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

Method

  1. Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Add ¼ cups of warm water, the yeast, and sugar to another large bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes, until it begins to bubble. (If it doesn’t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start over with a new package.)
  2. Add the flours, salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead together, adding up to ½ cup of all-purpose flour to the dough as necessary to keep it from sticking. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is supple and elastic.
  3. For the first rise, put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size (see Sidebar).
  4. Generously oil a baking sheet or 3 9-inch round pans with olive oil.
  5. For the second rise, place the dough on the baking sheet or divide the dough into 3 pieces and put 1 piece in each of the oiled pans. Stretch the dough out with your hands so that it covers the surface of the baking sheet or pans, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  6. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (or put a single rack in the middle if you’re using one baking sheet) and preheat to 400°F.
  7. After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet or in the pans, top it with ¼ cup of olive oil and sprinkle it with salt, herbs or spices, or the toppings of your choice.
  8. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the bread to cool slightly in the pan before slicing and serving. Focaccia is best eaten the day it’s made.
  9. If you wish to store the focaccia dough for future use, after the first rise is complete, wrap the dough tightly in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Pull all or part of the dough out when you wish to use it; bring to room temperature before shaping the dough and continuing with the recipe.