You may know focaccia as the bread with the dimples. It’s similar to pizza with a few toppings…but not too many. The outside is crunchy and the inside is a bit chewy with lots of irregularly shaped holes.
Olive Focaccia [Vegan]
For the focaccia:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and thyme
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Black and green olives
- Coarse salt
- Ground pepper
- Combine the water and yeast in a medium mixing bowl and let stand for 2 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt them mix until the flour is mixed. The dough will be lumpy but more or less stick to itself.
- Measure the olive oil into another medium bowl then transfer the mass of dough into this bowl. Cover with a towel and let stand at room temperature for 45 - 60 minutes.
- Now stretch and fold the dough.on the four 'sides' then turn the whole thing over into the olive oil. (See the linked video for a demonstration)
- Repeat this 3 or 4 times at 35 - 60 minute intervals.
- Prepare a baking tray or 9 x 13 inch rectangular baking dish with parchment paper that's been brush with olive oil.
- Transfer the dough into the pan and gently pat and coax it to shape. Cover and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. After 20 minutes or so you can stretch the dough a little more to fill the corners.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F at this point.
- When the dough has finished rising and has filled the pan combine the olive oil with the dried herbs and brush over the top of the dough. Press your fingers down into the dough to create the dimples. Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper and then distribute any other toppings (in our case olives) as desired.
- Place into the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for another 8 - 10 minutes.
- The focaccia should be golden brown all over. Remove from the baking pan and brush the edges with more olive oil then let cool.
- To serve you can rip pieces off as we did, cut it into fingers that are good for toasting and/or dipping or you can cut the focaccia into sandwich sized pieces, then cut the pieces in half horizontally for making sandwiches.