There is something about working with yeast that, for me, is both intimidating and satisfying. Sometimes I just stare at the finished product in amazement. For my husband, working with yeast is never a problem but for me it always presents itself as a challenge, but I’m determined.
- 3 ¼ CUPS FLOUR-all purpose1
- ½ CUPS WATER–warmed to 85º
- 1/2 TSP ACTIVE DRY YEAST
- 2 TSP SUGAR-helps dough rise
- 1 TB KOSHER SALT
- ¼ CUP GOOD OLIVE OIL–more as needed
- 3-4 GARLIC CLOVES–thinly sliced
- A FEW SPRIGS FRESH ROSEMARY
- A FEW SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
Place the flour, water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and stir to combine. It works best if you mix with your hands to make sure that it is all well combined and the yeast is well incorporated. Cover the bowl and let it sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours to give the dough time to come together and develop flavor. (Salt is very important in focaccia for flavor so be sure to use Kosher salt.) The dough should double in size.
When ready to use, preheat your oven to 450º and grease a baking sheet with olive oil. (I like to use the back side of the baking sheet so that it will be easier to slide the focaccia off.) Place the dough on the baking sheet and with your hands pat it into a ½-inch thick rectangle. Brush the focaccia with the olive oil and sprinkle the garlic, rosemary and thyme on top. Let it rest for about 15 mins in a draft free place.
Place in the oven and bake until golden brown–about 20-30 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before cutting into smaller portions or slices.
NOTE; I’m familiar with this bread growing up but didn’t know it as focaccia. We called it “pizza bianca” and had it with many different toppings. Sometimes just olive oil, freshly grated cheese and a lightly sprinkling of black pepper. Experiment, there are lots of way to make it your own. This is handy to make and enjoy while sitting around with friends enjoying a glass of wine “A tavolaon si invecchia” At the table with friends you do not become old!