2 scant tablespoons or 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 cups warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal, for pans
2 tablespoons crushed fresh rosemary leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
Coarse salt, optional
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Separate garlic head into cloves and peel. Add olive oil in a small heavy
saucepan, add garlic, cover and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, or until
softened but not browned.
Remove from heat and strain. Set oil aside to use later. When cool, cut
cloves into lengthwise slivers and set aside.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add 1 cup of unbleached
flour and stir thoroughly. Let sit for 15 minutes or until mixture is filled
with tiny bubbles.
Add 2 tablespoons of reserved garlic oil and 1 more cup of unbleached flour
and all of the whole wheat flour and salt to the yeast mixture.
Beat vigorously with a dough hook or a heavy sturdy spoon for 2 minutes.
Gradually add more of the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough forms
a mass and begins to pull away from sides of bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour a little at
a time as necessary for 8 to 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth elastic
dough and blisters begin to develop on surface.
Place dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of the dough
with oil. Cover with a tightly woven kitchen towel and let rise for about 1
hour or until doubled in size.
Sprinkle a well greased 13 x 18-inch baking sheet with cornmeal. Turn dough
onto an oiled work surface. With the heel of your hand, flatten dough into an
11 x 16-inch rectangle. Lift dough onto baking sheet. Using hands, press dough
into corners and edges of baking sheet.
Flattening dough with hands rather than a rolling pin will give the irregular
texture associated with focaccia. Cover dough with towel and let rise 20 minutes.
Sprinkle top of dough with rosemary and the slivered garlic. Using fingertips,
make indentations in dough about 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart, to give a dimpled
effect. As you do this, press garlic slivers into dough to keep them from falling
off or over cooking. Cover dough with towel and let rise an additional 20 minutes.
Place a shallow pan on lower shelf of oven and heat up.
Drizzle remaining garlic oil over top of focaccia. Use a brush to pat the
oil over the entire surface, allowing any excess to pool in the indentations.
Sprinkle with 1 to 2 teaspoons of coarse salt.
Put 1 cup of ice cubes in the heated shallow pan in the oven. Immediately
put the focaccia in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pale gold.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
It is best eaten slightly warm or at room temperature.
You can substitute parmesan cheese for the salt, or use both.
Posted by bettyboop50 at Recipe Goldmine May 9, 2001.