It’s flawlessly smooth and fluffy and satisfyingly chewy.
It’s sprinkled with lots of clean rosemary and crunchy flaky sea salt, and drizzled with more olive oil simply earlier than serving, which soaks flawlessly into all of those little conventional holes which you have poked inside the bread.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 (0.25 ounce) package active-dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°F)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling*
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Proof the yeast. Add warm water (about 110°F, which you can measure with a thermometer if you want to be sure it’s the right temp) and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough attachment, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Give the yeast a quick stir to mix it in with the water. Then let it sit for 5-10 minute until the yeast is foamy.
- Knead the dough. (See alterate instructions below to knead by hand.) Set the mixer to low speed, and add gradually flour, olive oil and salt. Increase speed to medium-low, and continue mixing the dough for 5 minutes. (If the dough is too sticky and isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add in an extra 1/4 cup flour while it is mixing.)
- First dough rise. Remove dough from the mixing bowl, and use your hands to shape it into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl (or a separate bowl) with olive oil or cooking spray, then place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Place in a warm location (I set mine by a sunny window) and let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes, or until it has nearly doubled in size.
- Second dough rise. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle until that the dough is about 1/2-inch thick*. Cover the dough again with the damp towel, and let the dough continue to rise for another 20 minutes.
- Prepare the dough. Preheat oven to 400°F. Transfer the dough to a large parchment-covered baking sheet (or press it into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish). Use your fingers to poke deep dents (seriously, poke all the way down to the baking sheet!) all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top of the dough, and sprinkle evenly with the fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.
- Bake. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through.
- Serve. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired. Slice, and serve warm.
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