The perfect accompaniment to your favourite soup, or a snack when on the go, freshly baked focaccia is absolutely delicious. The practice of "dotting' creates dimpled wells in the focaccia by using a finger or the handle of a utensils to poke the unbaked dough. It's done to keep moisture in the bread.
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp. traditional baking yeast
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cups unbleached flour
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. coarse salt
- 2 tbsp. chopped rosemary
- cracked black pepper
In a bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let the mixture sit until it foams. Stir in salt and olive oil, then start adding flour, one cup at a time, beating well. When you can no longer stir, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, sprinkling just enough flour on the counter to prevent sticking.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a a clean, damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Let rise until doubled in size (1 to 1.5 hours.) Punch the dough down and let it rise again until doubled.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Place the dough on a well-oiled 12" x 16" baking sheet with 1/2" sides. Gently stretch the dough to roughly fit the pan. Drizzle the surface with olive oil and spread the minced garlic over the dough. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary evenly over the top, followed by coarse salt. and cracked black pepper. Now for the "dotting!" Using your fingertips, gently poke indentations over the entire surface. It should appear dimpled and rustic-looking. Let rise for 15 minutes, or just until it puffs slightly.
Place the loaf in the centre rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The garlic should be lightly golden. Serve warm.
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