Not quite pizza, but probably an ancestor. Either way, it's delicious.
Sun, Oct 18 2009 at 9:50 AM
Pizza Dough, made without the rye or whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Prep time: 10 min, plus 1-2 hours to rise
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min
Prepare the dough through the first rise, and punch it down.
Turn the dough out onto an 11- by 17-inch rimmed baking pan (a standard baker’s half-sheet or jelly roll pan). With lightly floured hands, gently flatten the dough, stretching it out toward the edges of the pan. Use a rolling pin only if necessary; this may be impossible anyway if your pan has a deep rim. The goal is to fill the pan to the edges with as even a layer of dough as possible.
Cover the pan and let rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours in a warm place or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Dimple the top of the focaccia with slight fingertip impressions every inch or so, then brush with the oil.
Sprinkle the salt and rosemary over the top and bake on an upper rack of the oven until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, about 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to rotate the pan halfway through cooking, as many ovens heat unevenly from front to back.
Makes one 11-by 17-inch sheet
Instead of rosemary, top the focaccia with thickly sliced green onions just before baking.
Good to know
What we know as pizza probably evolved from focaccia, a flat bread baked directly on the hearth (focus in Latin). In its modern form, focaccia is a thick, light, yeast-risen bread enriched with olive oil, with toppings ranging from simple coarse salt or chopped herbs to some rather pizzalike creations with tomatoes, onions, or artichoke hearts. Cheese, if used at all, should be just a minimal dusting of Parmesan or something similar. Plain focaccia split lengthwise also makes a delicious sandwich bread.
The dough is basically the same as for pizza, but for some reason the bit of rye or whole wheat flour that improves pizza does nothing for focaccia.
Also from The Microbrew Lover's Cookbook:
The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook
From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.
Photo: your idea/Flickr