This focaccia is fabulous at any time. The dough is my go-to for pizza and almost any flatbread-type recipe. It’s quite wet, which means that it's soft and full of bubbles when baked. The bubbles get larger, and the tangy-sour flavor deepens with a longer, cooler rise. (For pizza dough, let it rise for 3 days in the refrigerator.) —MrsWheelbarrow
one 14- by 10-inch focaccia
For the dough:
1 1/2 teaspoons
active dry yeast
2 1/2 to 3 cups
olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
chopped fresh rosemary
For the topping:
olive oil, plus more for brushing
medium onions, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir
well. When small bubbles start to form on the surface, after 5 minutes
or so, add 1 cup of the flour and stir well. Let rest for 10
Add another cup of the flour, the oil, rosemary, and salt, and stir
until you have a shaggy mass. Turn out onto a well-floured work
surface and sprinkle the dough with about a tablespoon of flour.
Allow the dough to rest and absorb the flour for about 10 minutes.
Wash the bowl, dry well, and lightly oil it.
Using a spatula or a bench scraper, gently lift, fold, and press down
the dough, then give it a quarter turn. Continue this gentle kneading
until the dough is smooth and elastic, about twelve turns, adding
as little additional flour as possible. This is a wet, sticky, dough.
Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat in the oil, then cover
with a tea towel and let rise for an hour. (Or, for a tangier focaccia,
place the covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 days for a slow
rise. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat.
Add the onions and fennel, season with plenty of salt and pepper,
and cook slowly until well browned and caramelized, 14 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of
parchment. Brush the parchment with oil.
Place the dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet and press
out into a 14- by 10-inch rectangle. If the dough shrinks back and
fights you, let it relax for 10 minutes, then press it out gently. It
does not need to be perfect by any means. Dimple the focaccia all
over with your fingertips (as though you were lightly playing the
piano). Let rest for 20 minutes.
Brush the focaccia lightly with olive oil. Using an offset spatula,
spread the preserves to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Cover the
preserves with the onions and fennel. Break up the cheese and dot
it over the onions. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with crunchy
salt and pepper.
Bake the focacccia until it is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly
and toasty, 20 to 25 minutes; the internal temperature will register