This focaccia combines olive oil, wine and water to make a haunting flavor, light porous texture and crispy crust. Carol Field published the cookbook Focaccia in 1994 which includes this recipe and it’s a classic!
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 2/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water, room temperature
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or sherry
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Sponge, above
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons unbleached all- purpose flour, plus 1-2 tablespoons as needed
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4-1 teaspoon sea salt or flaked salt
- 1 cup ice and water for a separate pan in the oven
- Sponge: In a large heavy duty mixer bowl sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, whisk it in and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rise until puffy and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
- Dough: Place sponge bowl and mixer paddle in place in the mixer. Add the water, wine and olive oil to the sponge. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Change to the dough hook and knead for 3 minutes at medium speed, stopping to press the dough into a ball. Use the 1-2 tablespoons extra flour to finish kneading by hand briefly on a smooth surface.
- FIRST RISE: Place the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- SHAPING AND SECOND RISE: The dough will be soft, full of air bubbles and stretch easily. Press into a lightly oiled 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 inch pan. Dimple it well with your fingertips or knuckles, cover with a towel, and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 45 minutes.
- BAKING: Preheat oven to 425 F. On the bottom rack place a large shallow baking pan. Also place a baking stone if you have one on the middle rack. When all are hot, again dimple the dough. Drizzle olive oil so it pools in the indentations and sprinkle with sea or flaked salt. Place the focaccia on the stone. Pour 1 cup cold water and ice into the bottom rack pan. Quickly shut the oven door and turn temperature down to 400 F. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from the pan and cool on a rack. Cut into large squares or rectangles. Serve warm or room temperature.
Thank you Carol Field, author of Focaccia Simple Breads from the Italian Oven!