Don't you love the name of this post? My husband coined it last night as I was complaining that what I made was essentially thick, herbed pizza dough.
See? It doesn't look like what you'd normally call focaccia. Ah, well. Live and learn.
But, it was very good, I'll tell you. The kids and I were so hungry we ate a whole round warm out of the oven before dinner even started. I can't wait to have a sandwich on the leftovers for lunch today.
I will use a different recipe for the real deal next time, but if you are looking for a fast, easy substitute that only takes a few hours as opposed to 24 hours, then this is for you. (The recipe out of Baking With Julia seems to be more what I'm looking for.)
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast (not instant)
2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. sea salt
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
olive oil, for drizzling and pans
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Toppings: dried herbs, olives, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions, shredded cheese, etc.
Stir the yeast and warm water together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved, stirring occasionally as needed. Add the sugar, olive oil, and salt. Stir. Turn the mixer on and slowly add the flour until the dough comes away from the sides and is tacky to the touch, but not sticky. Let the mixer knead the bread for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth. (You could also knead it by hand.)
Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over to coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into thirds. Lightly cover the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Generously oil three 8" or 9" round pans. Roll the dough into circles and place in the prepared pans. Let rise, covered, for another 1 1/2 hours, or until they double in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use your fingers to dimple the dough. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the bread. Sprinkle with desired toppings and coarse sea salt.
Bake for about 30 minutes. (Check after 20 mins.) The tops will be golden. Remove from oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
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