I was jonesing for pizza today, but didn’t have any shredded cheese or red sauce. What I did have, however, was the basic ingredients needed to make focaccia. Below is my last minute, raid the pantry and refrigerator, focaccia made on a balmy spring afternoon.
- 4 c bread flour
- 1 1/2 c + 2 tbsp warm water (100 degrees)
- 1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
1. Start with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/2 c water in the bowl. Whisk together to combine and let stand for 10 minutes The mixture will become foamy.
2. Add 1 c flour to the mixture and beat together for 2 minute at medium speed. Then add another cup of flour, 1 1/2 tbsp salt, and 1/4 c olive oil to mixture and beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed until combine. Add the onion to the mixture and fold to incorporate.
3. Switch to the hook attachment on your mixer. Turn the mixer on low and add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the flour to integrate into the mix fully before adding another 1/2 c. The dough should pull away completely from the sides. The end result will be a soft, slightly sticky dough. This should take around 10 minutes in total time. Cover with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
Note: The picture on the left shoes the shaggy, rough texture that will occur somewhere between your third and fourth half cups. The goal is to stop kneading the dough when the dough looks like the picture on the right.
4. Lay parchment paper on a heavy rimmed baking sheet. Place the dough on the paper and press out into a oval shape about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly oil some plastic wrap and lay on top of the pan. Leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
5. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Take off the plastic wrap and insert your fingers (clean hands please) into the dough about 1 inch apart. Drizzle some olive oil over the dough.
6. Lay the tomatoes on top of the dough, sprinkle with 1 tsp kosher salt, and grate fresh parmesan on top.
7. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes until the top and bottom have browned, but before the cheese burns.
8. Take the focaccia out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. This ensures your crust will remain crispy. Cut into squares. Serve warm or cold with more freshly grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.