Caramelized Garlic Focaccia

Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible

  • 2 3/4 c. (13.6 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 c. minus 2 Tbsp. (15.5 oz) water, room temp.
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp., divided, olive oil
  • 1 batch caramelized garlic, recipe below
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

In a mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour and yeast. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the water, mixing just until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes. It will be very soupy. Increase the speed to medium and beat the living daylights out of this dough, until it is a smooth, shiny ball, about 20 minutes. No kidding. 20 minutes.  Add the sugar and salt and beat until they are well incorporated, about 3 minutes.

Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl.  The dough will look like melted mozzarella. Lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about 4 hours, or at least until doubled.

Coat a sheet pan with a heaping Tbsp. of olive oil. Pour the dough onto it - it will be thin enough to pour but very stretchy. Coat your hands with olive oil and spread the dough as thin as possible without tearing it. Let it relax for 10 minutes, then spread it to fill almost the entire sheet, trying to maintain the bubbles in the dough. (If adding the garlic, make about 32 evenly spaced depressions in the dough with your fingertips and gently press a garlic clove into each one.  The dough will rise and enclose the garlic to prevent excess browning during baking. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled its original volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475 one hour before baking. Have an oven rack at the lowest level and put a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.

Uncover the dough and evenly drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of it.  With oiled fingers, deeply dimple the dough.  Sprinkle on the rosemary (optional) and salt.  Place the pan directly on the hot stone or hot baking sheet and bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drizzle on a bit more oil, if desired. Serve immediately.

A photo of olives ripening in the sun Certified Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil