Wednesday, January 12, 2011


  • 1 package active dry yeast (1/4oz or 2 1/2 tsp)

  • 5 C all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading

  • 1/4 C plus 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 1/2 tsp table salt

  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 Tsp course salt, such as sea salt or kosher salt

1. Stir together 1 2/3 C lukewarm water and the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the flour, 1/4 C of the oil, and the table salt, and beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead at low speed until the dough is soft, smooth, and sticky, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in 1-2 Tbsp more flour. Knead the dough 1 more minute-it will still be slightly sticky- then transfer to the bowl and turn the dough to coat it with the oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Generously oil a 15"x10" baking pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan and cover it completely with a damp kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a war corner of the room until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425. Stir together the rosemary and remaining 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Make shallow indentations all over the dough with your fingertips, then brush with the rosemary oil, letting it pool in the indentations. Sprinkle salt evenly over the focaccia and bake in the middle of the oven until golden, 20-25 minutes.

6. Immediately remove from the pan and place on a rack to cool.

I got this recipe from the book Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado (yes, she's Sandra Bullock's sister). It was by far the best food memoir I've read to date. I highly recommend it, and I can't wait to try more recipes from it.

It's really good focaccia; as good, if not better, than what you get in an Italian restaurant. I may have lost count when measuring the flour and added an extra cup because it definitely wasn't a sticky dough for me, but it seemed to turn out fine. I've got some ideas for a bit of flavor modification such as mixing the rosemary into the dough or using a different herb, adding some thinly sliced red onion or roasted garlic. I liked it the next day warmed in the microwave, it got really chewy.

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