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Basic Focaccia Recipe

1 t active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water, 105-110 degrees
3/4 c unbleached, all purpose flour

1 t active dry yeast
1 c warm water
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 t sea salt

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1 1/4 t coarse sea salt

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large mixing bowl. Whisk it
in and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand until bubbly and
doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10
minutes. With a wooden spoon, stir the yeast mixture and the olive
oil into the sponge and mix well. Stir in 1 c of the flour and the
salt. Stir in enough remaining flour to produce a soft dough.
Knead on a lightly floured board until soft and smooth, about 6-8

Place dough in a lighly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and
let rise until doubled 1 to 1 14/ hrs or overnight in the fridge.

Divide dough in half and press into two lightly oiled 9" round cake
pans. If dough shrinks from the sides, let rest a few minutes then
stretch it again. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place
for 45 minutes or until dough is full of air bubbles. Just before
baking, press your fingertips deep into the dough all over the
surface to dimple the loaf. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle
with sea salt.

Bake at 425 deg. for 20-25 minutes until top is golden. Remove
from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Focaccia Provencale

1 recipe basic focaccia dough
1 can 14.5 oz plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 T chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 can 2.25 oz sliced black olives, drained
4 t dried oregano
2 T olive oil
1 t sea salt

Make focaccia dough according to the recipe, through rising and
shaping. After dough is stretched into two 9" round cake pans,
dimple deeply with fingertips. In a small bowl, stir together the
chopped tomatoes and basil. Spread half of the mixture over each
loaf. Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.
Dimple the loaves again and top with garlic, olives and oregano,
gently pressing in the olives. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and
sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 400 deg. for 20-25 minutes. Remove
from pans and cool.

Note: I like to make a variation of this in which I marinate the
tomatoes and basil for several hours in garlic-steeped olive oil
with a little salt, then proceed as directed. When I do this, I
skip the black olives.

Makes two 9S round loaves; serves 8-16


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