Easy toppable focaccia

By Mary Berg
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YIELDS
1 23-CENTIMETER SQUARE LOAF

Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 –2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • Toppings such as flakey sea salt, sliced garlic, trimmed vegetables like asparagus, leeks, ramps, bell peppers, or tomatoes, olives and capers, pickled peppers, fresh herbs, and/or goat cheese, cream cheese, or fresh mozzarella

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2-1/4 cups of the flour with the instant yeast, sugar, and kosher salt and make a well in the middle. Pour in the water along with 1/4 cup of olive oil into the well and begin mixing the dough with a wooden spoon. Once combined, dump the shaggy dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead until soft and springy, approximately three minutes, adding more flour if needed. Once kneaded, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for one to 1-1/2 hours.
  2. While rising, pour the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil into a 23-centimeter square baking pan and set aside. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and press it into the oiled pan, making sure to poke your fingers all the way through to the bottom while you stretch the dough. Cover the formed focaccia and allow it to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF and prepare any vegetables and toppings you’d like to use to decorate your focaccia. Once the dough has completed its second rise, sprinkle the top with flakey sea salt and top it with whatever and however you’d like and bake the in the preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

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