Makes 1 (13 x 9 Inch) Rectangular Pan, or 3 (10 â 12 Inch) Round Loaves
by Deborah Mele
5 Cups All-purpose Unbleached Flour
2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 â 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 2 Additional Tablespoons To Oil Bowl)
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Warm Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt
Optional Toppings of Choice
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.
You can see how pillowy and soft the dough becomes.To make a large rectangular focaccia, lightly oil a 13 X 9 inch baking sheet with sides.Dump your risen dough into the pan punching it down to deflate it.
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.