I have been wanting to make rosemary focaccia forever and a day. It is not complicated and the actual time spent working the dough is very little, the waiting time around it, that is what always deterred me from making it. Yesterday I decided that it was time I tackle this super easy recipe as my craving for good focaccia was taunting me. I so enjoyed feeling the dough in between my fingers.
I am ready to make it again this weekend. Maybe two batches and one we can use to make pizzas. The difference between focaccia and pizza lays in the thickness of the dough. The focaccia is thicker, 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch thick. However, the pizza is much smaller, less than 1-inch thick.
In Rome, Italy, there is this wonderful creation, the one that I was craving, called “Pizzetta Bianca”, or white pizza. It is the same base recipe I am sharing with you, however a bit thinner dough going into the oven. And lots of sea salt flakes too, my favorite part.
I must share all the below tips with you to successfully make the dough rise and not become a hockey puck. Do not panic, just a few suggestions if you never made bread or worked with active yeast.
Used “OO” flour. Perfect for bread, however, King Arthur flour is excellent too.
Salt not in contact with the yeast when first placed in the bowl. In the presence of salt, the yeast releases some of its water to the salt by osmosis, and this, in turn, slows the yeast’s fermentation or reproductive activities. Thus not rising.
Do not overwork the dough. The more you work it the less it will rise.
If you have a warm spot in your kitchen, use it and forgo the oven instruction herewith. I do not have a warm spot in my kitchen, therefore, I turned my oven to the lowest warming setting, pretty much when I heard the click that the oven was on, and place the dough to rise both times. The first time in the bowl. The second time when on the baking sheet. It cannot be hot as it will cook, therefore adjust your heat as you know your oven well.
Brush the olive oil with your hands and not a brush. You want to gently touch the dough and you have control of your hands. With a cooking brush, you may press a bit more than necessary thus breaking down the rising. Plus, it is fun to play with the dough. let your inner child come out and play.
Do not be afraid to be generous with salt and olive oil, that is what makes the focaccia delicious.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 502Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Put the flour into a mixing bowl, then sprinkle the yeast on one side of the bowl and the measured sea salt on the other side. (The two cannot touch at this stage as they will counter each other, and your dough will not rise.) Cover each with a little flour. Make a well in the middle and add warm water and oil. Mix well with a table knife to incorporate the dough.
Transfer to a clean surface and knead until smooth. This will take around 4-6 minutes. Dust some flour to the board to eliminate sticking to it.
Brush the surface of the dough with a little olive oil and placed on a clean oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Grease a large baking tray. Scoop gently the dough from the bowl and place it onto the prepared baking tray. Flatten gently the dough to shape into a rectangle and spray or brush lightly with more oil. Cover with saran wrap, as before, and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Slightly press the surface with your fingers to create small pockets. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, abundant sea salt flakes. Drizzle with more olive oil.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool down slightly. Slice and serve warm.