Italian Focaccia Bread
By: Eric Maczko
Be sure to oil the bowl the dough rises in with olive oil (Garlic or Italian Varietal) as well, both to prevent sticking and to flavor the crust.
1 ¼ tsp active dry Yeast
2 Tbsp sugar (1 tsp used to bloom yeast)
1 cup water + ¼ cup warm water
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
½ cup Round Pond Basil Infused -or- Italian Varietal Olive Oil
1 ½ pints cherry tomatoes, split
¼ lbs black olives, pitted
`sea salt as needed
In a bowl combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and ¼ cup water (at 115°F). Let mixture stand until it gets foamy, approx 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl combine, flour, remaining sugar and kosher salt. Form a well and add, yeast/water to flour mixture, along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 cup warm water. Mix until stiff.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, approx 10 minutes. Return shaped dough ball to well oiled (3 Tbsp) bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rise for about 1 ½ hours.
Heat oven to 475°F. Rub bottom and sides of chosen skillet or 13” deep dish pan with 2Tbsp Basil Olive Oil. Transfer dough, flip to cover both sides with oil and flatten with fingertips into pan. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour more. Press tomatoes and olives into dough, sprinkle with sea salt and bake until golden brown, 30 – 35 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Serve with a bowl of Round Pond Garlic Olive Oil for dipping.