Now that is a sexy situation right there. I mean, damn. It’s almost not right, how good it looks. I mean, focaccia is my favorite for a lot of reasons – but its versatility has to be number one. You can put anything on it, and it’s wonderful. It’s also one of the easiest breads to make, so if you’re intimidated by yeast dough, this is a fantastic place to start. For toppings, I went savory for most, but added a dessert option for fun. Bread always seems like a savory option, but focaccia works just as well slathered with mascarpone and honey. What variety will you try? Let me know in the comments!
1 3/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 teaspoons (1 1/2 packet) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Option1: 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, finish with 1 pound fresh burrata, sliced
Option 2: 1cup pork sausage cooked with 1 onion, sliced until browned, ricotta, finish with honey and sage
Option 3: 2 sliced chilies, 2 sliced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon oregano
Option 4: 1 cup mascarpone, finished with 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, and 1/4 cup honey
Combine the warm water, yeast and honey in a small bowl. Put the bowl in a warm, not hot or cool, place until the yeast is bubbling and aromatic, at least 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed. Once the dough has come together, continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes on a medium speed until it becomes smooth and soft. Give it a sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand 1 or 2 times. Again, give it another sprinkle of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.
Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with 1/4 cup olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a lid and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.
Pour dough onto the rimmed baking sheet and press it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough. Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Add the suggested toppings, well spread out. Top with some coarse sea salt and lightly drizzle a little oil on top. Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foccaccia from the oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.