Focaccia to me is like a cross between a loaf of nice Italian bread and pizza. I like to top it minimally and let the flavor of the dough come through without competing with a multitude of different flavors.
- 1 ¼ cups (10.6 oz, 300g) water (room temperature)
- 1 tsp. (0.2 oz, 5g) instant yeast
- 3 ¼ cups (17.6 oz, 500g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (2.1 oz, 60g) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp (0.4 oz, 10g) salt
- Toppings of choice and extra extra-virgin olive oil
- Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Stir the dough together to combine then begin kneading by hand or stand mixer. If kneading by hand, lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough with smooth strokes until the dough is very smooth and elastic. This will take about 12-15 minutes of steady kneading. If kneading by machine turn the mixer on to medium speed and use the dough hook. Mix the dough until it is smooth and elastic this will take about 9-10 minutes. Frequently scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and from the dough hook.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it doubles in volume and looks very puffy. This will take about 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on your room temperature. If you were to gently poke the dough with your finger the indentation would remain. If it springs back quickly allow the dough to rise another 10-15 minutes before checking again.
- Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Uncover your dough and gently overturn it onto the baking sheet. Let it rest for 5 minutes before shaping it further. Oil your hands and gently push the dough with your fingers, gently stretching the dough towards the edges of the baking sheet. Use your hands to coat the dough with more olive oil and dimple it all over with the pads of your fingers. Sprinkle the top with your toppings of choice and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes. Check to see if the dough is fully proofed by pressing gently with your finger and seeing if the dimple remains or quickly springs back.
- About 15-30 minutes before baking position the baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the focaccia and slide the sheet pan into the oven. Bake the focaccia until it is a honey golden brown color, about 20-30 minutes.