|Focaccia Genovese Dough|
|Time||4 hours, total|
Focaccia Genovese Dough
- In a 4-quart bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer), combine flour, salt, yeast and water.
- With a large metal spoon, stir together until all the flour is absorbed. If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the spoon in cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand.
- When the dough sets up, wash and dry your hands and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Then add ¼ cup olive oil and dip your hand or spoon again in water and continue to work the dough for another 5 minutes until it is smooth and stretchy. The dough should be very sticky, but it should also have some texture and structure. Even if mixed with the wet hands method, it should still pass the windowpane test. (Snip off a small piece of dough and gently stretch it until it forms a paper-thin, translucent membrane.)
- If the dough seems like a batter and does not have enough structure, work in some more flour.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turn it to coat the dough with the oil, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, the dough should have nearly doubled in size. If not, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Line a 12-by-17-inch sheet pan (technically called a "half sheet pan" as a 24-by-17-inch or full sheet pan will only fit in a commercial oven) with either baking parchment or a silicon baking pad (Silpat).
- Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the parchment or pad and spread it over the surface. Using a plastic bowl scraper dipped in water, gently transfer the dough from the bowl to the pan, taking care to de-gas the dough as little as possible.
- Drizzle the remaining ¼ cup olive oil on the surface of the dough.
- Using only your fingertips, press down on the dough, creating dimples and pockets all over the surface for the oil to fill. Do not press the dough outward toward the edges of the pan; instead simply press downward at only a slight angle toward the edges. When the dough fills the pan a little more than half full and springs back toward the center, stop pressing and let the dough relax at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Repeat the dimpling process, beginning at the center and gradually working out toward the edges of the pan. This time the dough will nearly fill the pan. Again let the dough relax at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Repeat the dimpling. This time the dough should fill the pan. Let the dough rise for approximately 2 to 3 hours at room temperature or until it fills the pan.
- Your dough is now ready for topping and baking.
Tips, Notes, and VariationsEdit
- Makes enough dough for 1 (12-by-17-inch) half sheet pan.
- This bread spends more time in the pizza oven than most crusts, 30 to 40 minutes, so it requires special toppings that can take the heat: