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Have-it-your-way focaccia

  • From just oil and herbs to a more pizza like meal focaccia is an endlessly adaptable lunch or dinner option. Regardless of the topping, start with this have-it-your-way focaccia dough then add whatever you desire. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)
    From just oil and herbs to a more pizza like meal focaccia is an endlessly adaptable lunch or dinner option. Regardless of the topping, start with this have-it-your-way focaccia dough then add whatever you desire. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)
Published April 07. 2010 05:00PM

Like pizza and hamburgers, focaccia can be pretty much anything you want it to be. So we've given you a basic dough to get you going. What you do after that is up to you.

Before you pile it on, consider that sometimes simple is best. It is hard to beat a focaccia topped with nothing more than enough olive oil to pool into the little dimples in the dough, coarse salt and a sprinkling of fresh rosemary.

For a still simple, but more pizza-like approach, top it with thinly sliced tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, rosemary and olive oil. Or ditch the feta, bake it with just the tomatoes, then top it with shaved Parmesan as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Other toppings to consider: thinly sliced red onions, roasted red pepper, Kalamata olives, caramelized onions, shaved zucchini and chopped prosciutto.

Have-it-your-way focaccia

Start to finish: 2 hours (15 minutes active)

Servings: 10

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1 cups warm (105 F) water

cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, water, cup olive oil, salt, flour and rosemary. Mix on lowest speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-low and mix for 2 minutes.

Dough should stick to bottom of the bowl but clear the sides. If not, add a bit more flour. Dough should be very soft and just slightly sticky. Cover bowl with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Oil a baking sheet, then transfer dough to it. With oiled hands, pat dough out into an oval about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy, about another 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 F. Spread your choice of toppings over the surface of the focaccia. Use fingers to dimple the surface lightly, then drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and puffed. Let cool slightly before cutting.

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