September 30, 2013

Rosemary Focaccia Sheet

The only thing we've grown this year is a small planter of rosemary that my son (aka husband) gave me for Mothers' day. That's due to our cramped and *hopefully* temporary living accommodations while we figure out life. While flipping through The Bread Bible, I was reminded how delicious these breads are. I decided to try a few more recipes and started with this one.

This is a light, airy bread. My first rising was done much quicker than the recipe stated, but my second rising took the full time. We enjoyed it as is the first two days and then converted this into one of the most delicious pizza crusts.

Alas, we ate it all before I could snap a picture.

Rosemary Focaccia Sheet
2 3/4 cups flour
3/8 tsp. instant yeast
2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. water, room temperature
3/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Mix the dough by combining flour and yeast. With the mixer running, add water gradually until the dough comes together. It will be soupy. Increase the speed to medium, and beat until the dough is transformed into a smooth, shiny ball, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until they are well incorporated (about 3 minutes).

Scrape the dough into a well-oiled bowl. It will look like melted mozzarella. Lightly spray or oil the top of the dough, and cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Let rise until doubled, about 4 hours.

Coat a 12 x 17-inch sheet pan with a heaping Tbsp. olive oil. Pour the dough onto it, and spread the dough using oiled hands as thin as possible without tearing it. Let it relax 10 minutes, and spread to fill almost the entire sheet, trying to keep all the bubbles in the dough. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475°F an hour before baking. Have the oven shelf at the lowest level, and place a baking stone on the rack to preheat.

Uncover the dough, and drizzle the remaining oil over it. Dimple the dough using your fingers. Sprinkle evenly with rosemary and sea salt. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve immediately ideally or store in a paper bag for a couple days.

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