Don't worry, I'm still baking... just not posting. I hope people are actually reading and trying these recipes. They are really fantastic and most of them don't take as much time as you would think. This recipe however does take time, but it is fantastic. Just be prepared to share because it makes A LOT of bread.
5 C unbleached bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
6 T olive oil
2 C water, room temp
1/4-1/2 C Herb Oil
1. Stir together the dry ingredients. Add the oil and water and mix with a large METAL spoon until all the ingredients form a wet sticky ball. (It will be very wet and sticky. Avoid the desire to add more flour at all costs!) Mix with a metal spoon for 3-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Alternately, if you want to use a mixer mix for 5-7 minutes on medium speed using the dough hook. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter to make a bed about 6 inches square. Transfer the dough to the counter and dust it liberally with flour and pat it into a rectangle. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
2. Coat you hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size. Fold it in thirds letter style, over itself, to return it to a rectangle. Mist the dough with spray oil, dust with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Stretch the dough again, following all steps. Let it rest for 30 minutes and repeat one more time.
3. Allow the dough to ferment for 1 hour on the counter. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, put down about 1/4 C of olive oil (being sure to spread to the corners of the pan) and carefully lift the dough onto the cookie sheet. Spoon about 1/2 of the herb oil over the top of the dough. Using your fingertips dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan. Use only your fingertips so you do not tear or rip the dough. Try to keep the thickness as uniform as possible. If it starts to shrink back, let it rest for about 15 minutes then continue dimpling. Use more herb oil as necessary to be sure that the entire surface is coated with oil.
4. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the pan for the fridge at least 3 hours before baking. Drizzle any additional herb oil over the dough and dimple it in. The dough should fill the pan completely, cover with plastic wrap and proof the dough at room temp for about 3 hours. Preheat the oven to 500 with the rack in the middle.
5. Place the pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 450. Bake for 10 minutes and rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes. The internal temp of the dough should register about 200 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack. If the parchment is stuck on the bottom carefully remove it by peeling it off. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before serving.
Herb Oil - Sam's Version
1 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Herbes de Provence (an herb mixture including lavendar. I purchased mine at costco)
1 T Dried Minced Onion
1 tsp Pepper
1 T Kosher salt
5 fresh Garlic Cloves, pressed
Warm the oil to about 100 degrees add all of the ingredients and remove from the heat. Allow the herbs to steep for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to only include some of the herbs on your focaccia. If you'd like you can strain it before using. It will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.