By Kerri Smetana & Daniel Hillyard, Bread Festival 2018 Showcase Bakers
This is a recipe from my grandmother’s hand-written cookbook. We have Italian heritage, and every Christmas we celebrate Italian-style fish Christmas Eve and pasta, meat and this focaccia on Christmas Day!
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- ½ Tablespoon sugar
- 2 ¾ cup water, separated
- ½ cup olive oil, separated
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 7 cups all-purpose flour (give or take 1 cup)
- 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
- 4 sprigs rosemary
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar into 1 cup of warm (110 degree) water. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 ½ cup room temperarute water, 1⁄4 cup olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Once the yeast has activated, stir in the water and oil mixture. Once combine, begin adding 1 cup of flour at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Next, take dough out of the bowl and put on a floured surface. Knead for 5-8 minutes.
Lightly oil a bowl and place dough in it. cover and let rise for about an hour. Once rise, cut the dough in half and put each half onto two generously oiled 12 x 17 jelly roll pans. Push the dough out with your fingers and spread until it extends to the sides of the pans.
Combine 1⁄4 cup water, 1⁄4 cupolive oil and 1 Tablespoon coarse salt. Dimple the tops of the dough with your fingers and then spoon the oil mixture over top so the dimples catch the mixture. Let rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475. Remove rosemary leaves from sprigs and sprinkle over top of risen dough. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden and a little soft.