An Easy Focaccia

Caramelized onion focaccia
Caramelized onion focaccia

FOCACCIA RUSTICA

This rich and satisfying focaccia is thicker than the typical Ligurian type and is baked in a round pan.  See the end of the recipe for topping the focaccia with cooked onions. Makes a 9-inch round focaccia

1 cup/225 grams warm tap water, about 100 degrees 2 teaspoons/5 grams/fine granulated active dry or instant yeast 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan 2 1/2 cups/335 grams unbleached bread or all-purpose flour 1 teaspoons/6 grams fine sea salt Coarse salt and more olive oil for topping A 2-inch deep 9-inch round pan generously oiled

1. Whisk the water and yeast together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Wait a minute and whisk again, then whisk in the oil. 2. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour and salt. Place the bowl on the mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until sticky and somewhat elastic, about 3 minutes. 3. Cover the bowl and let the dough ferment until it starts to puff. 4. Scrape the dough to a floured surface and give it a turn: flatten the dough and fold one side over the middle and the other side over both; roll down from the top. Invert and repeat. Return the dough to the bowl and cover smooth side upward; let ferment until fully risen, about 30 minutes longer. 5. Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. 6. Invert the dough to the prepared pan and turn it over so that the smooth top of the dough is now uppermost and oiled. Use your fingertips to evenly press the dough into the pan. Cover and proof until puffy, about 30 minutes. 7. Oil the top of the focaccia and dimple it all over with fingertips. Sprinkle with coarse salt. 8. Bake the focaccia until well risen and dark golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for a minute, then invert, turn tight side up, and cool on a rack.

VARIATIONS: Add 4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves to the dough along with the salt. Or top the focaccia with about 2/3 cup cooked onions: Peel, halve, and thinly slice a large white onion, about 8 ounces, and cook it slowly in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until very soft and sweet. Cool and press the onions into the dough at the beginning of step 7.

Focaccia, cut cropped
Focaccia, cut cropped