Yield: Yields a 13x18-inch loaf; 12 to 15 pieces.
Although the making of this recipe is spread over two days, the actual hands-on time is quite short. After you mix the dough, it rises overnight in the refrigerator, where the cold slows yeast activity dramatically. This is the key to truly flavorful focaccia.
No mixer? Just mix it by hand. Combine the flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large stainless-steel bowl; have a bowl of lukewarm water standing by. With a large wet spoon or one hand, mix the ingredients. Repeatedly dipping the spoon or your hand in the water will help keep the dough from sticking. Rotate the bowl with your free hand while stirring with the other until a wet, shaggy dough forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then mix for another 2 minutes until the dough is relatively smooth but quite sticky.
I’ve made this recipe for years, and it is solid. I always sprinkle chopped rosemary over the top before baking. The most important detail is to make sure you are using Instant yeast. I once made the mistake of using active dry, and ended up with an oily cracker!
I was looking for a light focaccia, something with a little more fluff. This is it!!! Love this recipe and have made it several times with great results. Lately I have been topping it lightly with Italian seasonings, caramelized onions and thin tomato slices (left out on paper towel to leach moisture). Top with Parmesan reggiano. Great crowd pleaser.
So very easy and delicious. Very little hands-on, just takes time.
One comment, I added feta cheese. The small crumbles almost burned. If using feta, I'd suggest either larger pieces or add last minutes of cooking.
I love Peter Reinhart's recipes and this is a favourite. I love it with a bit of rosemary and flaky salt. I've had very consistent results and I've made it many, many times. So good with a big pot of soup.
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