This classic focaccia topped with fresh rosemary is easy to make and feeds a crowd.
Servings: 24 (2-1/2-inch x 3-inch) foccacia squares (serves 10-12)
Prep Time:20 Minutes
Cook Time:20 Minutes
Total Time:40 Minutes, plus 2 to 3 hours rising time
5 cupsall-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife, plus more for kneading
1 packet (2-1/4 teaspoons)instant/rapid-rise yeast (see note)
1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoonkosher salt, divided
1-3/4 cupwarm water
3/4 cupextra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling the bowl and drizzling on top
1 tablespoonchopped fresh rosemary, from several sprigs
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Mix on low speed to combine. Add the water and 1/2 cup of the olive oil; mix on low speed until the dough comes together, then turn the speed up to medium-low and continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough becomes soft and slightly tacky. It should stick to the bottom of the bowl a bit. If the dough seems too wet, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of flour, and turn the mixer back on to knead it briefly to combine.
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface (it helps to flour your hands, too). Knead by hand briefly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, flipping once so that both the top and bottom are lightly slicked with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. (The warmer the spot, the faster it will rise.)
Coat a 13" x 18" rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup of olive oil. (It will seem like a lot, but that's what makes the bottom crispy.) Plop the dough onto the prepared pan and begin pressing it out with your hands to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over once to coat both sides with olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. Once the dough is stretched, spread your fingers out and make impressions almost all the way through the dough (don't poke holes, just press down to the bottom of the pan). Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the warm, draft-free spot until the dough has puffed up and doubled in size, about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425°F. Set an oven rack in the middle position.
Sprinkle the top of the focaccia dough with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and rosemary, then lightly drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top so it pools in the indentations. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board and slice into squares. Drizzle a touch more oil on top before serving, if desired.
Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: Focaccia is best eaten freshly baked but it can be made 1 day ahead of time, if necessary. For best results, wrap the focaccia in aluminum foil and place in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 350°F oven until just warmed through, about 10 minutes. The focaccia can also be made ahead and frozen. To freeze, cut it into portions, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat the focaccia, remove the plastic wrap and re-wrap it in the foil. Heat it in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant/rapid-rise yeast, however, the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can add it to the warm water in the recipe, let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe.