Lina’s Focaccia

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My granddaughter Lina and I made this focaccia for New Year’s Eve based on a recipe in the America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbook for young bakers.  It is a rather stripped-down recipe, flavored with olive oil and salt, and omitting common focaccia toppings like garlic and rosemary, but it was a hit with children and adults alike.  It takes about 4 hours to prepare and makes a 13 x 9 inch pan.


15 oz. (3 cups) all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. yeast

1-1/2 tsp. sugar

13.5 oz. (1-2/3 cups) room-temperature water

1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

To Finish and Bake

Vegetable oil spray

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Maldon salt or kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand-mixer, put the flour, yeast and sugar.  Stir together.  Lock the bowl into the mixer and insert the paddle attachment.  Add the water.  On low speed, mix the flour and water together until there is no visible dry flour, about 3-4 minutes.  Periodically scrape the side and bottom of the bowl.  Turn off the mixer leaving the bowl locked in.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Add the salt to the mixer.  Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds until the salt is fully mixed into the dough.  Increase the speed to medium, and knead the dough with the paddle for about 8 minutes. 

Put 2 Tbs. of olive oil in a doubling container and coat the bottom and sides.  Transfer the dough to the doubling container and turn it over to thoroughly coat it with the oil.  Cover and let it rise on the kitchen counter until doubled, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the middle of the oven.

Prepare a 13 x 9 baking pan by spraying it thoroughly with cooking spray and adding 2 Tbs. of olive oil and brushing it on the bottom and sides.  Tip the risen dough into the pan and spread it with the back of a spoon or a spatula to cover the entire surface of the pan.  Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  Poke any large bubble with a toothpick to pop them, and dimple the dough with your fingertips.  Sprinkle the Maldon or kosher salt evenly over the surface.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan to finish cooling on a cooling rack.  Allow to cool at least another 15 minutes before cutting into squares for serving.


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