We all love Claire Saffitz, right? High-key very happy she left Bon Appetit and the now madness that is that magazine. But that’s besides the point. I got her book Dessert Person for Christmas and finally got around to making one of her recipes. I decided to go with the Focaccia, it’s so crispy and warm and soft on the inside, UGH. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t stand in front of the oven and try and eat it when it was still incredibly hot. It’s recommended that you have a stand mixer for this, I do not have one in my little apartment and it still turned out good; just have a strong arm on stand-by. Eat this on it’s own, slice in half for sandwich bread, do whatever you want with it really I don’t care, just enjoy it.
- 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
- 6 Cups/780g Bread Flour
- 2 TBSP/17g Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Cup/110g Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1/4 Cup for topping and for oiling hands
- Additional toppings: 4 Cloves crushed garlic [or whatever you’d like]
Let’s Get Baking
First we are going to dissolve the yeast. In a small sauce pan, warm 1/2 cup water over low heat, just until it’s lukewarm, about 105F. Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk in the yeast to dissolve. Set this aside until the mixture is cloudy and slightly puffed, will take about 5 minutes.
Add 2 1/2 cups [567g] room-temp water to the yeast mixture + add in the flour and kosher salt. Using the dough hook, mix on the lowest speed until a loose dough comes together, for about a minute. Then increase the speed to med-high and mix until the dough is smooth and wrapping around the hook, about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Mix again on med-high speed, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and pulling away from the bowl, for about 10-15 minutes. ** THE DOUGH WILL BE STICKY**
In a separate bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a separate large bowl and coat. Scrape the dough into the bowl and coat the dough. Take a photo before covering so you can gauge the rise. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings. For this recipe that involves crushing and chopping the garlic.
Drizzle 1/4 cup oil across a cookie sheet, coating the entire thing. With your oiled hands, slide your hand around either side of the dough and lift it out of the bowl. Let the dough weigh itself down back into the bowl. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this process two more times. This allows the dough to rise more. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet. Stretch the dough out in all directions, it’s not going to fully cover the pan yet, don’t stress. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
Uncover and stretch the dough again so it fits all the sides of the sheet. Cover again and let rise in the fridge for 24 hours. OR you can let is sit for another 40-55 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 450F, place two oven racks on the highest and lowest positions. Uncover the risen dough with oiled hands and with wide hands, press your finger tips into the dough making dimples across the surface.
Top the focaccia as wanted: I added 1/4 cup olive oil+ chopped garlic + salt.
Bake on the lower rack for about 20-25 minutes and then transfer to the top rack until it begins to brown for about 5 minutes. Pay attention to the color here.
Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes [hardest 10 minutes ever]. Scrape out with a spatula and let cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy in whatever way you wish!