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Focaccia Bread

Recipe from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s “The Joy of Vegan Baking”

Katherine Connors

Dissolve the yeast in the water. You may need to add 1 teaspoon of sugar to help activate the yeast. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. (If the mixture does not start to bubble after 5 minutes or so, it may be inactive.) In the bowl of your electric stand mixer (or by hand), add the flour, the 2 teaspoons sea salt (not the coarse salt), rosemary, and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Using the dough blade, begin to mix. Add the yeast and continue to mix. Add more water as needed to create a smooth ball of dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes (5 minutes in the electric stand mixer), until it’s smooth and elastic. Coat the sides of the bowl with some olive oil, turning the dough over once to moisten all sides. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and let sit in a warm, draft-free spot so the dough can rise. The dough should double in size in 2 to 2 12 hours.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead again for a few minutes. Press into an oiled 9 or 10-inch round cake pan or a 12 x 16-inch baking sheet. Create small depressions in the surface of the dough by poking it all over with your fingertips. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour more.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over the dough. Sprinkle with the coarse salt. Sprinkle on some remaining fresh rosemary, if you like. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread is a golden color. Carefully remove from the pan to cool on a rack. Though it’s best the day it is baked, focaccia freezes well.