Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Focaccia

A rustic Italian oven-baked flat bread.





Focaccia


2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Olives, pitted and quartered
3 fresh tomatoes, quartered
sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dries thyme

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.


Preheat oven to 180C.
Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add garlic, olives, tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.