Focaccia with Rosemary and Parmesan
A solid loaf of focaccia is a simple thing to make—and perfect for feeding a crowd, whether to accompany a meal or just to nibble warm with cheese, olives and wine. If you don’t have (or like) rosemary and Parmesan, it’s just as good plain, with olive oil and coarse salt. Serve in wedges or slices—if there are leftovers, it’s delicious toasted and turned into crostini or croutons.
1½ cups warm water
1 pkg (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp salt
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Place water in a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy.
Add 4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup of the olive oil and the salt and mix until you have slightly sticky dough. Add extra flour as needed until dough is tacky but not overly sticky; knead with the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer or by hand for 7 to 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down, divide in half and pat each into a well-oiled 9-inch cake pan. Poke all over the surface with your fingers, pressing all the way through to bottom of pan. (The holes will mostly fill up as the dough rises in the oven.) Cover and let rise for another hour and preheat oven to 425˚F. (If you have a backyard pizza oven, focaccia bakes well in a cooler spot of the oven.)
Drizzle with remaining oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, Parmesan and rosemary. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.