focassia

As far as yeast bread goes, this one is a snap.  Compared to some that require starters, overnight proofing, 3 rising sessions, etc., this bread is about as low maintenance as they come.  I love how great every imperfection looks and that it fits just about perfectly on my pizza stone.  The recipe is from Williams Sonoma Baking Cookbook (with only a few modifications).  They always seem to come through with great recipes for simple and delicious food.

1 pkg quick rise yeast
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 T. Olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 t. table salt
3- 3 1/2 Cups unbleached bread flour
course sea salt for sprinkling

In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve yeast in the water.  Stir in oil and salt.  Gradually stir in 3 cups flour until dough holds its shape.  Knead (by hand or with dough hook) until smooth and elastic (about 10 min, or 6 with hook).

Form the dough into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl, turning to coat on all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (60 min).

Using oil, grease large baking sheet or pizza stone.  Turn out dough onto a floured surface and press flat.  Again form a ball.  Place on prepared sheet or stone and let rest 5 min.  Using your fingers, stretch out the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until puffy, about 35 min.  Preheat oven to 400F.

Using fingertips, make dimples in the dough.  Brush the surface with oil and sprinkle with sea salt (I also like to add dried rosemary)

Bake until golden brown (15-20 min), brushing with oil half way through the baking and again at the end.

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