Olive & Rosemary Focaccia Recipe from Le Politique’s Pastry Chef

Remember, folks: Cooking at home counts as science class

Not only does this recipe yield some delicious bread (with plenty of options for flavor substitutions), it’s a perfect rainy day activity. Le Politique’s pastry chef Melissa Carroll shares her adaptation of Samin Nosrat’s recipe from Salt Fat Acid Heat.

Olive & Rosemary Focaccia (Photo by Nick Cabrera)

Olive & Rosemary Focaccia

(Yield: 1 half sheet pan / approx. 8-16 servings)

Dough Ingredients:

2 and 3/4 cups warm water

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 Tbsp granulated sugar (you can substitute with any alternative sweetener you have)

5 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour (I used Barton Springs Mill)

1 Tbsp kosher salt

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used Frantoia Barbera)

1 each lemon, zested

2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped

Salt Brine + Topping Ingredients:

3-5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to grease the bowl and pan)

1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup warm water

1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped

1/2 cup pitted olives, quartered (I used Castelvetrano olives)

Dough Mixing Method:

1) The night before you want to bake bread, mix the dough

2) In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar

3) Finish with the remaining dough ingredients: flour, salt, olive oil, lemon zest, and chopped rosemary

4) Combine all ingredients with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl

5) Drizzle a small amount of additional olive oil around the sides of the bowl to prevent sticking

6) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to create an airtight seal

7) Allow the dough to rest on your kitchen counter overnight, 12-14 hours. The dough will double or triple in size and take on a mild sourdough flavor as it lightly ferments.

Dough Baking Method:

1) Drizzle a small amount of additional olive oil onto a half sheet baking pan, completely covering the pan

2) De-gas dough and scrape out of the bowl onto the baking pan

3) Stretch the dough out to resemble a rectangle, allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes

4) At this point, the glutens in the dough will have relaxed some more so you should now be able to stretch the dough out to fill the entirety of the baking pan

5) With spread fingers, press deep indentations all over the dough's surface

6) In a liquid measuring cup, combine warm water, salt, quartered olives, and chopped rosemary

7) Stir until salt has dissolved into the water

8) Pour this mixture all over the top of the dough, pressing more into the indentations to create more craters as needed

9) Scatter olives and chopped rosemary over the dough evenly

10) Allow the dough to proof at room temperature for 45 minutes on top of the oven

11) Preheat the oven to 450°F, with an inverted half sheet baking pan on the center rack.

12) Once the oven has come to temperature, bake the focaccia for 30-35 minutes on top of the preheated baking pan

13) Remove bread from the oven and brush with more olive oil

14) Allow to cool 30 minutes before cutting into smaller rectangles and serving

Flavor Variations:

(Substituted for lemon, rosemary, & olives)

*Tomato, herbes de Provence, & parmesan

*Preserved lemon, thyme, & fingerling potato

*Concord grape & rosemary

*Za'atar & garlic confit

*Caramelized onion, goat cheese, & apple

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