3 1/2 cups flour
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil PLUS 1/4 cup, divided use
1 tablespoon salt
5 oz sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of water. Allow to sit about 10 minutes. Then combine yeast with 1 cup of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Mix thoroughly then add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, 2 1/2 cups flour and 3/4 cup water. Mix thoroughly again and then add the remaining flour and water. Continue to mix with the dough hook until a soft dough forms. If it is sticky, add a bit more flour, too dry or powdery, add a touch more water. Remove from the bowl and pat into a round shape. Grease a 14 x18 inch pan* with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the dough in it, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise** about 1 1/2 hours. After the 1 1/2 hours, stretch the dough out to the length of the pan, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise an additional 45 minutes. After about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 450***. After the 45 minutes, uncover and poke the dough with your finger to make little holes. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup olive oil, and a couple of tablespoons of water. Brush this over the bread, then sprinkle with rosemary and coarse salt. Bake 15-20 minutes, checking about half way through to make sure it isn’t browning too quickly. After about 15 minutes of baking, add the sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan then return it to the oven for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*a black, metal pan works best.
**an “cold” oven is an excellent place to allow your dough to rise.
***it is nice to bake this in the pan on a baking stone, if possible. Place the baking stone in the oven while you preheat.
Because we are punny people, we always always refer to this bread as farkatke* bread instead of its actual, sound alike name of focaccia. We do this so much, I think I have forgotten how to pronounce the true name and now fear ordering it in restaurants. Which, luckily, I can avoid doing because when ever I get the urge we can make it ourselves. It is pretty easy to make and the topping can be dictated by whatever odd ingredients you have around the house that you want to use up.
*Yiddish for ridiculous