"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Monday, September 2, 2013

Not knowing what flavors we would like the best, I seasoned in sections.  The whole loaf was first coated with garlic butter and sea salt, yes I left the chucks of garlic on the bread.  There was Basil, Thyme and several different kinds of graded cheeses.

Basic Focaccia Recipe
Makes 1 (13 x 9 Inch) Rectangular Pan, or 3 (10 – 12 Inch) Round Loaves
by Deborah Mele

5 Cups All-purpose Unbleached Flour
2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 2 Additional Tablespoons To Oil Bowl)
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Warm Water
Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast, and water
Add everything but the water into a large bowl and stir.
Add half the water and stir.
Continue to add water until the dough begins to come together into a shaggy ball.
Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface surface and begin to knead with the heels of your hand.
Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliant.
Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your ball of dough inside. Roll the ball around in the oil, ensuring the sides of the bowl, and ball of dough are both lightly oiled.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise.
I cover mine with a kitchen towel on top of the plastic wrap and sit it on a large sunny windowsill.
Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about an hour or an hour and a half depending on ambient temperature.
To make a large rectangular focaccia, lightly oil a 13 X 9 inch baking sheet with sides
Use your fingers to push and press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 or 30 minutes or until the dough dimples when pushed with your fingertip.
Use the tips of your fingers to dimple the entire top of the focaccia.
Drizzle olive oil over the top turning the pan carefully to allow the oil to roll into the indentations.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of your focaccia and then let it sit and rise for another 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

For Baking:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt
Optional Toppings of Choice