When I say easy, I mean easy. I do not mean quick. Focaccia from start to finish will take most of, or all of a day to make. Making it takes just a few simple steps, but there is wait time in between. So, make this because it’s fun and easy- when you have a lazy day to putter around the house. Trust me, you don’t even have to knead it! A note about flour: you can use all-purpose flour exclusively for this if you prefer. Bread flour will add more gluten to the finished bread, which will give your bread more of a chewy texture, but bread flour is not essential. On the other hand, you can use all bread flour if you like. I like a mix of both.
- 2 1/2 Cups of hot tap water
- 1 t. active dry yeast, I use Saf-Instant yeast.
- 1 T. honey or granulated sugar
- 3 C. bread flour
- 2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
- Kosher Salt (about 3 T. if using Diamond Crystal, 2 T. if using Morton’s Coarse Kosher- some salt is saltier than others!)
- 1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil, divided (any type is fine, the better the oil, the better the bread will taste obvs.)
Combine the hot water with the yeast and honey, or sugar in a bowl. Stir to dissolve and wait two or three minutes, or until foam begins to form on the surface of the water. If, after 5 minutes there is no foam, then your yeast is inactive (dead, …sniff), and you need to get some new yeast.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and 2 T. of Diamond Crystal salt, or 1 T. of Morton’s Kosher. Pour in the yeast and water mixture and 1/4 C. of the olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 strokes, or until the dough is just combined- it will look lumpy and craggy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on the kitchen counter for about three hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
The dough is just combined.
The dough has risen for about two hours and is almost doubled in volume.
Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by drizzling about 1/8 C. of the olive oil over it. Once the dough has risen enough, (you can let it sit all day if you want, but two hours is the minimum needed) peel it out of the bowl and plop it down on the oiled baking sheet. Gently press and flatten it into a rectangle with your hands and let it rest for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes of rest time, it should be a little easier to stretch and press the dough to cover the whole sheet pan. Dimple the dough all over with your fingertips. Combine 1 T. of the Diamond Crystal salt, or 1/2 T. of Morton’s, with 1/3 C. hot water. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Pour the brine mixture all over the bread allowing it to pool in the dimples. Let the dough rest again for another 30 minutes.
Drizzle with about 1 T. of olive oil and sprinkle with a final pinch of salt. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.
Allow to cool on a rack before cutting into squares. Keep at room temperature, wrapped in foil for one or two days, or wrap with plastic wrap and freeze.