I love this bread! It’s so tasty! Soooo good for a sandwich and to infuse with herbs! The list goes on.
I recently relocated to an area where there are no local “neighborhood” Italian bread bakeries. Now…I admit I have not looked very hard except for a pretty thorough google maps search and drove around a bit. But, it looks like… no dice.
And…before relocating, I was warned by so many that this may happen. But there is no reason to panic because I have been baking bread for years and now is the perfect excuse to get back into it!
So let’s talk about focaccia. Such a great bread! Its roots are crude and “peasantesque”, just how I love it. Back in the Roman era and even before then, this bread was a poor man’s dish made with coarse flour, hardly any yeast, some salt and oil and that’s it. Over the years it has gotten a bit “fancier” so to speak. But the one thing I don’t like about your typical focaccia is that it’s just a little too thick and heavy for my liking.
With that being said, I came up with a thinner, lighter, crispier version of the traditional one.
So let’s get started. . .
In a glass mixing bowl, pour the lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast and whisk the ingredients in until dissolved.
Once dissolved, let the bowl sit for a few minutes until the yeast and sugar react and give off a sweet alcohol-type smell.
At this point start adding your flour a little bit at a time while mixing with your hand or wooden spoon.
When about 75% of your flour is in, add the salt, pepper, rosemary, and then add the rest of the flour until you have a wet, sticky, doughball.
Cover with saran wrap and let sit for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, grease an 11” x 17” x 1” deep baking pan with a generous amount of olive oil using a paper towel. Dump the contents of the bowl onto the greased pan scooping everything out with a plastic or rubber dough scraper.
Oil your hands with olive oil and gently start spreading the dough to the edges of the pan using super flat palms. The oil allows you to work the dough easily. Do not rush spreading the dough. If it’s not cooperating spread it as far as you can let it sit for some time and continue. As you spread the dough be careful not to bunch it up toward the edges. Try to make it as even as possible.
Once the dough is spread to the edges of the pan, make a claw with both of your hands and perforate the top of the dough with your fingertips creating little dimples. Salt and pepper the top once more. Cover by placing the same size pan on top upside-down and let sit for 30 minutes.
Uncover and place in the oven preheated at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Once golden brown on top, remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for visiting my blog!
2 cups of lukewarm water
4 ½ teaspoons (2 packets) of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon of granulated cane sugar
4 cups of 00 Caputo flour or strong bread flour
2.5 teaspoon of fresh cracked or coarse sea salt
2.5 teaspoon of fresh cracked or coarse black pepper
1.5 tablespoons of dried or fresh rosemary leaves