This is a recipe I've had up my sleeve for YEARS, whenever I make it everyone loves it, but I always notice that it is always slightly different. Different flours, measurements, rising times, and ovens always change the outcome. Yesterday I made this and made sure to take my time, and I want to say that is a factor I don't always consider. Since its such a simple recipe I have found I can whip it together quickly (aside from the rising times) but the difference yesterday was I spent time weighing it all out. I would recommend you set a side enough time to not rush it and I hope it turns out great.
1 ⅓ c warm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 tsp honey (or sugar if you prefer)
.25 oz active dry yeast (1 packet or 2 ¼ tsp)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp flaked sea salt
springs fresh rosemary
more flaked salt for the top (its key!!)
Lots of olive oil (~2TBSP per drizzle)
Measure warm water in a bowl or measuring cup, add honey and mix until combined. Add the yeast, give it a mix and then set aside for 5 -10 minutes until its bubbled up on the surface.
In a large mixing bowl mix the flours and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. Either with your hands or a rubber spatula bring the dough together. Add a TBSP of flour at a time if the mix is too sticky to touch. (be careful not to add too much too soon) Once the mixture has come together turn it out on a floured counter and knead the dough until it is very smooth. Work in a clockwise motion turning the dough in on itself. As long as your large mixing bowl is fairly clean pour a glug of oil in the bottom of the bowl and add the dough, seam side down. Swirl it around the bowl to make sure the walls have oil on them. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to rise. I have done everything from 1 hour to 4 hours. Yesterday I think was a pretty perfect 2 hours, it had doubled in size and was full of air bubbles.
Punch the mix down and lightly knead the oil into the dough. Dump onto the kitchen counter and roll it out. Rolling pin if you have one, wine bottle if you don't. Or you can simple stretch it gently with your hands.
Drizzle a deep baking pan with olive oil. Place the dough onto the pan and stretch out again if needed. Cover with a towel and allow to rise again, 20-30 minutes this time. Im sure I've left it longer in the past too.
Preheat your oven to 400 F/ 200 C.
My favourite part is taking my fingers (excluding my thumb) and poking holes into the bread, just deep enough to make indents. Next drizzle it with more oil (a friend told me the key to good focaccia is olive oil, and plenty of it!!) Sprinkle with rosemary and salt.
Place into oven and cook 20 minutes. It should rise nicely and brown on top. A trick is to give it a knock on top and it should sound hollow. The oil that you drizzle on the bottom of the pan should make a crispy bottom on the loaf.
Remove it from the oven and give the final drizzle of oil. (!!!!) Allow it to cool 10 minutes, and it will also soften as it sits. Move to a wire rack until ready to serve.
I think its fabulous fresh but do love it lightly toasted the next day.