April 27, 2011
Carol Field's Basic Focaccia
Carol Field Focaccia
1 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water, 105° to 115°F
3/4 cup (100 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, 105° to 115°F
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 1/4 cup (450 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
To make the sponge:
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large mixing or mixer bowl, whisk it in, and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until very bubbly and doubled, about 45 minutes.
To make the dough:
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl, whisk it in, and let stand until creamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a wooden spoon, stir the yeast mixture and olive oil into the sponge and mix with a paddle attachment until well blended. Add the flour and salt and stir until thoroughly mixed, 1 to 2 minutes. Change to the dough hook and knead at medium speed until the dough is soft, velvety and slightly sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Finish by sprinkling 1 tbs of flour on your work surface and kneading the dough briefly until it comes together nicely.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1 1/4 hours.
Shaping and second rise:
The dough will be soft, delicate and full of air bubbles. Flatten it on an oiled 11x17 inch baking pan and press it out with oiled or wet hands. Because the dough will be sticky and may not cover the bottom of the pan, cover it with a towel and let it relax for 10 minutes, then stretch it again until it reaches the edges. Cover with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the dough is full of air bubbles. Just before baking, dimple the dough vigorously with your knuckles or fingertips, leaving visible indentations. Drizzle olive oil over the dough, being sure some of the oil pools in the little holes you have made. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
At least 30 minutes before you plan to bake preheat the oven to 425°F with a baking stone inside if you have one. Place the focaccia pan directly on the stone and spray the oven walls and floor with cold water from a spritzer bottle 3 times during the first 10 minutes of baking. Bake until the crust is crisp and top is golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. You may remove the focaccia from the pan and bake it directly on the baking stone for the last 10 minutes. remove from the pan immediately and place on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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