Just a simple rustic bread that’s wonderfully crusty with lots of nooks & crannies to hold the olive oil which makes it just amazing! Serve it as a side to a great pasta dish… slice it for a delicious sandwich or just eat it plain with alittle sautéd spinach, onion and tuna, as I did. Its the best Italian bread ever❤
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 tablespoon salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top of dough
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Place on counter until the yeast is bubbling and aromatic, about 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a lg. mixer fitted with its dough hook, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed. Once the dough has come together, continue to knead for about 5 mins. on medium speed until it becomes smooth but soft. Give it a sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand 1 or 2 times. (give it another sprinkle of flour if the dough is to tacky.)
Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl, turning dough to slightly coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
Coat a lg. jelly roll sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Put the dough onto the pan and begin pressing it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough to make those nooks and crannies.
For a second time put the dough in the warm place and let rise until it has doubled in size, about an hour. Once risen to your liking preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly sprinkle the top of the focaccia dough with some coarse salt and drizzle with alittle more olive oil. Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 20 to 25 mins. remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool slightly, then slide out of pan onto a cutting board to cut and serve. Bravo❤