I love focaccia, and given that there are so many versions of it, I regularly give it a try. This recipe yielded a bread that was less oily than my first one, but less crusty than the second one. Kind of a magical middle. My husband still prefers the first :-)
0.5 cup flour
0.25 tsp yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2.5 cup flour
1 tsp yeast
1.25 cup water
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp Kosher salt
Mix the ingredients for the sponge, cover and allow to sit for 8 hours at room temperature. If you refrigerate it, allow to equilibrate to room temperature for 30 minutes before using it.
Add the flour, yeast and water to the sponge. Mix and cover. Allow to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Add 2 tsp of salt in two batches. Mix in thoroughly. Cover and allow dough to rise in bowl for 30 minutes.
Fold eight times and cover again. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat so you rest the dough a total of 1.5 hours.
Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and shape gently into two, 5-inch balls. Coat two 9-inch cakepans with 2 tbsp olive oil each. Sprinkle with salt.
Place the dough in it, folded-side-down. Flip so both sides are coated. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Press into shape and poke 30 times with a fork.
Sprinkle with rosemary and allow to rest another 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500F, with a metal shape on the top one third of the oven. When the oven is nice and warm, reduce the heat setting to 450F and add the focaccias. Bake for 12 minutes.
Switch the position of the breads and continue baking for another 12 minutes. Remove from oven when golden brown.
Allow to rest in shape for 5 minutes, then move onto a cookie rack. Brush with olive oil from the pan. Serve after resting the bread for another 30 minutes.