From Uri Scheft, author of Breaking Breads: If you’re familiar with Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread technique, this focaccia lives in the same realm, which makes it a great “beginner” bread recipe. The recipe depends on the stretch-and-fold technique and time and yeast to work the dough from the inside out. This process activates the gluten naturally by turning sugar into carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles and air in the dough). That’s why it’s important to treat focaccia dough gently and not to mash and knead it with too much force, which would push out all the air.
Make a batch of dough and top it with your favorite ingredients. I use it to make Shakshuka Focaccia . I’ve even finished focaccia sashimi-style with raw hamachi tuna and salmon! And there’s no reason to stop at savory: top focaccia dough with fresh apricots or other stone fruits for dessert focaccia (drizzle with honey before serving). Let your imagination and creativity inspire you to come up with something original. And by the way, you can also use focaccia dough rolled very thin to make a really great pizza.
Excerpted from Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. —Ali Slagle