- 1 1⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons (8 grams) dried instant yeast
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons (16 grams) salt
- 1 tablespoon (11 grams) sugar
- 3 3⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary (from one to two stems)
- Coarse or flaky salt, for sprinkling
- Use a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula to stir together the water, half the oil, the yeast, salt, sugar and flour in a large bowl, forming a rough dough. Transfer to a container with a lid, partially cover and let it rest for about two hours on the counter. (Alternately, if you have a lidded container large enough for mixing, you can assemble the dough in there.) The dough can then be used right away, but it is much easier to handle once it has been thoroughly chilled. The dough can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- Dust the surface of the dough lightly with flour, then pull half of it off. (The dusting makes this task easier, as the dough is sticky). Dust the half you are using with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- Place a baking stone on the middle oven rack, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour the remaining oil into a cake pan and evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
- Use your hands to flatten it into a 1cm thick round 15cm in diameter. Place the dough top-side-down in the cake pan, moving it around a bit to coat it with the oil. It will not fill to the edges of the pan. Turn the dough over, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use your hands to gently push the dough to the edges of the cake pan. Sprinkle with the rosemary and coarse or flaky salt, as needed.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest and rise for 20 minutes.
- Place the cake pan on the heated baking stone in the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the focaccia crust is medium brown and feels dry and firm on the surface. The baking time will vary, depending on the focaccia's thickness.
- Use a rounded knife to loosen the loaf from the edges of the pan, then transfer the focaccia to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve warm, or allow to cool completely.