Focaccia al Rosmarino

(Rosemary Focaccia)


Focaccia is like a thick pizza, but with a more bread-like texture. Usually, it is lightly seasoned and eaten as a snack. It can also be eaten with meals in place of bread. The following recipes produce slightly different focacce. The first is a crisp and chewy focaccia, while the second is flavorful, tender and moist.

Either focaccia can be made in baking pans (as described below), or made into free-form round, square, or rectangular shapes and baked directly on a baking stone. The following recipe(s) make two 9-inch rounds, or one 11 X 17-inch rectangle. The size of the focaccia may be adjusted to accommodate the desired thickness.

Direct Method

Dough

2 Tsp. Active dry yeast
1/4 Cup Water - (60 g.) [105-110 degrees] 
Range of Water 1 1/4 Cups + 2 Tsp.  to 1 1/4 cups + 3 Tbl. water (310g - 345 g.) [See Note 1]
3 3/4 Cups Unbleached all purpose flour - (500 g.)
2 Tsp. Salt - (8 g.)

Toppings

3 - 4 Tbl. Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 - 2 Tsp. Coarse Salt
3 - 4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

Note 1: Using 1 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons of water will result in a less wet, or soft dough; a dough which is easier to make and work with when making the focaccia. Using 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons water will result in a very wet dough. Wet doughs are harder to work with, but result in a focaccia with a more open texture. If working with a wet dough is unfamiliar, The Artisan has posted a piece on working with wet doughs. This can be accessed via the link provided here: Working with Wet Doughs. To return to the recipe from the referenced link, simply close the "Working with Wet Doughs" window.

Procedure: Dough and Toppings

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water and allow it to stand for approximately 5-10 minutes. Mix the salt (2 Teaspoons) with the flour (3 3/4 cups). Add the additional water (See Note 1 above) to the dissolved yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture, and mix the ingredients to the consistency of a soft dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow the dough to rise until it is at least double in size (approximately 1 - 2 hours).   (If desired, the dough may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. In this case, shape the dough into a ball, and flatten the ball into a disk. Place the disk into a plastic bag, and set the plastic bag in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator approximately 1 1/2 hours prior to baking. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and allow it to rest covered on the work surface. When the dough reaches an internal temperature of at least 62F, proceed with the following instructions.)

Lightly oil the baking pan(s). Place the dough in the center of the baking pan and, using your fingertips, stretch it gently toward the rim of the pan(s). If the dough resists being stretched, allow it to rest in the baking pan for 5-10 minutes, and complete the stretching process.

Allow the dough to rise covered in the baking pan(s) until at least double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat the oven to 425 F. If using a baking stone, preheat the oven at least 30 minutes before placing the dough in the oven. Prior to baking, dimple the focaccia by gently pressing into it with your fingertips. Drizzle the surface of the focaccia with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle it to taste with salt and rosemary sprigs.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake the focaccia for 15 to 18 minutes By this time, it should be golden brown in color. Remove the focaccia from the baking pan and cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Indirect Method

Ingredients

Starter

2 Tsp. Active dry yeast
1/4 Cup Water - (60 g.) [105-110 degrees]
Range of Water 1 cup + 7 tsp. to 1 1/4 cups + 2 tsp. water (275 g to 310 g) [See Note 1 above]
3/4 Cup Unbleached all purpose flour - (100 g.)

Dough

3 Tbl. Extra virgin Olive Oil (35 g.)
3 Cups Unbleached all purpose flour - (400 g.)
1 1/2 Tsp. Salt - (8 g.)
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary (optional)

Toppings

3 - 4 Tbl. Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 - 2 Tsp. Coarse Salt
3 - 4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

Procedures: Starter, Dough and Toppings

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water and allow it to stand for approximately 5 -10 minutes. Add the additional water (1-cup) to the dissolved yeast mixture. Add 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour and mix until the flour is absorbed.  Cover the starter, and allow it to remain at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, the remaining flour (3 cups), and the salt (1 1/2 teaspoons), to the starter (which may have separated). The fresh rosemary leaves may be added to the dough now if one desires to also have this herb in the dough as well as in the topping. Knead the dough, until it is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow the dough to rise until it is at least double in size (approximately 1 - 2 hours).  (If desired, the dough may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. In this case, shape the dough into a ball, and flatten the ball into a disk. Place the disk into a plastic bag, and set the plastic bag in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator approximately 1 1/2 hours prior to baking. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and allow it to rest covered on the work surface. When the dough reaches an internal temperature of at least 62F, proceed with the following instructions.)

Lightly oil the baking pan(s). Place the dough in the center of the baking pan and, using your fingertips, stretch it gently toward the rim of the pan(s). If the dough resists being stretched, allow it to rest in the baking pan for 5-10 minutes, and complete the stretching process.

Allow the dough to rise in the baking pan(s) until at least double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat the oven to 425 F. Prior to adding the toppings, dimple the focaccia by gently pressing into it with your fingertips. Drizzle the surface of the focaccia with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle it to taste with salt and rosemary leaves.

Place the baking pan(s) in the oven and, using a plant spray bottle, mist the oven walls with cold water. Spray the oven walls again after 5 minutes. Bake the focaccia for 15 to 18 minutes. By this time, it should be golden brown in color. Remove the focaccia from the baking pan(s) and cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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Last updated on: 09/19/02 08:56:14 PM