Classic focaccia, such a soft and delicious Italian bread!
In Italy, focaccia bread is used to make delicious sandwiches called tramezzini and in some regions, it is also used as pizza base.
Here I am giving you the classic recipe for the thick and soft focaccia, it requires to be proved two times and it is quite a long process, about 2 hours for the first proofing, 1 hour for the second, then it is baked for about 30 to 35 minutes.
If you prefer a thinner focaccia, or if you are going to use it as a pizza base, you can bake it after the first rise. Contrarily, if you prefer your focaccia thicker, use a smaller baking sheet than I did or just do not flatten it too much.
If you like you can top your focaccia with some rosemary, that is just not how the focaccia is made in the area we come from.
Focaccia dough is very sticky, do not add more flour and do not overwork it.
This focaccia freezes very well, you can freeze your leftovers and re-heat them on demand in your toaster or grill.
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup (230 g.) water, lukewarm
3 1/2 cups (470 g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (115 g.) milk, lukewarm
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Salt
Some sea salt for the topping
More olive oil for the baking sheet
1 baking sheet 13x11 inches (35cmx28cm)
Into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast, sugar and water, stir and let the yeast activate, about 10 minutes
Add the flour, salt, olive oil and milk, knead at medium speed for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth
Lightly flour your counter and pour the dough, help yourself with a plastic scraper and fold the dough onto itself 3 times, don’t knead
Coat a large bowl with some olive oil and pour the dough still helping yourself with the plastic scraper, cover with plastic wrap and store in a warm place, let rise for about two hours or until doubled
Brush generously with olive oil a 13x11 inches (35cmx28cm) baking sheet, gently press the dough down with your fingers to deflate it, turn the dough over onto the baking sheet and press/push it toward the sides, oil your hands if needed, if you like your focaccia thicker, press it in the size you want
Store the baking sheet into a warm place and let rise about one hour or until doubled in size
Pre-heat your oven at 350°F (180°C), with your fingers press the dough lightly to create the little holes, drizzle some olive oil on top of the focaccia, sprinkle some sea salt and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until golden
Let cool on a wire rack
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