(This recipe will make 2 focaccia breads)
3 ½ cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
3 TBS olive oil, plus extra for greasing
4 TBS finely chopped fresh herbs (I use Rosemary)
Polenta or cornmeal, for sprinkling
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually stir in most of the water and 2 TBS of the olive oil to make the dough. Gradually add the remaining water, if necessary, drawing in all the flour.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead. Transfer to a bowl and lightly knead in the herbs for 10minutes until soft but not sticky. Wash the bowl and lightly coat with olive oil.
3. Divide into 2 parts. Shape the dough into 2 balls, put it in the bowls, and turn the dough over. Cover tightly with a dish cloth or lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume. Meanwhile, sprinkle cornmeal over a cookie sheet.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead each ball lightly. Cover with the upturned bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
5. Roll out and pat the dough into a 2 10-inch circle, about ½ inch thick, and carefully transfer it to the prepared cookie sheet. Cover with a dish cloth and let rise again for 15minutes.
6. Using a lightly oiled finger, poke indentations all over the surface of the loaf. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake in a preheated oven, 450°, for 15minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.