Fast Focaccia 6.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Jan 2, 2019

If you've never baked bread before, you will especially love making this crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside riff on a traditional Italian focaccia -- because it is simple and requires no kneading.

The recipe makes enough dough for two loaves, because for the same amount of work, why not? Bake them both at once, or chill half of it for a later second loaf.

You'll need one or two 9-inch round cake pans with sides at least 2 inches tall. If you don't have a baking stone, you can use a heavy-duty baking sheet instead, or just bake the bread directly on the oven rack.

Click here to see step-by-step photos for this recipe.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest at room temperature for 2 hours. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for a few months. The shaped loaves need to rest and rise at room temperature for 35 minutes before they are baked.


Servings:
6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings; makes one 9-inch-round loaf, plus dough for one more

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) dried instant yeast
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (16 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (11 grams) sugar
  • 3 3/4 cups (18 ounces; 511 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary (from 1 to 2 stems)
  • Coarse or flaky salt, for sprinkling

Directions

Use a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula to stir together the water, half the oil, the yeast, kosher salt, sugar and flour in a large (5- or 6-quart) bowl, forming a rough dough. Transfer to a container with a lid; partially cover and let it rest for about 2 hours on the counter. (Alternately, if you have a lidded container large enough for mixing, you can assemble the dough in there.) The dough can then be used right away, but it is much easier to handle once it has been thoroughly chilled. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Place a baking stone on the middle oven rack; preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the remaining oil into a 9-inch cake pan and evenly coat the bottom of the pan.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough lightly with flour, then pull half of it off (it will be about a 1-pound portion; the dusting makes this task easier, as the dough is sticky). Dust the half you are using with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

Use your hands to flatten it into a 1/2-inch-thick round 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Place the dough top side down in the cake pan, moving it around a bit to coat it with the oil. It will not fill to the edges of the pan. Turn the dough over, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Use your hands to gently push the dough to the edges of the cake pan. Sprinkle with the rosemary and coarse or flaky salt, as needed.

Cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest and rise for 20 minutes.

Place the cake pan on the heated baking stone in the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the focaccia crust is medium brown and feels dry and firm on the surface. The baking time will vary depending on the focaccia’s thickness.

Use a rounded knife to loosen the loaf from the edges of the pan, then transfer the focaccia to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve warm, or allow to cool completely.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day," by Zoe François and Jeff Hertzberg (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011), as posted on ArtisanBreadInFive.com.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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