from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John
1 ¼ cups tepid water
2 teaspoons active dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
3 ½ tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
20 Kalamata olives, pitted
Kosher salt to taste
In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar
and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Set aside in a warm,
draught-free place for 5 minutes or until frothy.
In a larger bowl, place the flour and the salt.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast
mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined.
Bring the dough together into a ball in the bowl
with floured or moistened hands.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10
minutes or until smooth and elastic. Rinse, dry and
brush the bowl with oil to grease. Place dough back
into the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set
aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes
or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Grease an 18 x 13 inch half sheet pan with 2 teaspoons of
the remaining oil. With your fist, punch down the centre of
the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead
for 2 minutes or until dough is elastic and has returned
to original size. If your dough is still too sticky, add
more flour to the board. Press into the prepared pan.
Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm,
draught-free place to rise for 20 minutes or until doubled
in height. Use your finger to gently press little dimples
into the dough. Brush with remaining ½ tablespoon olive
oil and cast the rosemary over the top. Press the olives into
the dough and sprinkle sparsely with the kosher salt.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and the
focaccia sounds hollow when you tap on its base.
Serve warm or at room temperature.