Salt tames the fermenting action of yeast dough, so it guards against bland, tough breads. Here, we use a little salt in the dough and boost the flavor with a finishing sprinkle of chunky fleur de sel (flower of salt). True fleur de sel comes from Brittany, France, but there are many types of finishing salts available. A little chopped kalamata olive enhances the briny flavor in the dough.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
Dissolve sugar and yeast in 2/3 cup warm water in a large bowl, and let stand 5 minutes.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 8 ounces flour (about 1 3/4 cups) and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture and 1 tablespoon oil to yeast mixture, stirring to combine; fold in olives. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Press dough out into a 13 x 8–inch rectangle on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475°.
Brush remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over dough. Sprinkle evenly with sliced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel. Bake at 475° for 12 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely before serving. Cut into 10 equal portions.
This is a very good recipe. The very first time I tried focaccia with this recipe. I added some Italian herbs, and brushed the olive oil on the garlic to prevent them from burning. I definitely recommend it!
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