20gr(1 Tbsp) extravirgin olive oil(or a good italian olive oil)
10gr(1 ½ tsp) salt
For the brine
180ml(¾ cup) water(at room temperature)
2Tbspextravirgin olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
MAKE THE PRE-FERMENTED DOUGH (BIGA)
Place 150 gr (1 cup) of flour, yeast, malt and 85 ml of water in a medium bowl.
Knead until the ingredients are combined. Form a ball, make a cross cut on top and let it proof for about 2 hrs or until doubled in size.
MAKE THE DOUGH
Add the remaining flour into the bowl of a electric mixer. Add the pre-fermented dough and the rest of the water, start kneading at low speed until the ingredients have amalgamated and formed a compact dough.
While the mixer is still kneading, pour the olive oil slowly and knead until it has been absorbed.
Add the salt and continue kneading for a minute. At the end you will obtain a soft and elastic dough.
Form a ball, cover the bowl with a clean damp kitchen towel and leave to proof in a warm place until it has tripled in volume.
Sprinkle a countertop with flour. Put the dough and slowly roll it into rectangular shape (use also your hands).
Grease a 14×17″ (35x40cm) baking tray and place the dough on it. With the help of your hands try to shape the dough almost the same size of the tray. Cover with plastic film and leave it to proof for about 50 minutes.
After the resting time, you will notice that the focaccia has expanded covering almost all tray. If necessary, pull it a little towards the corners so there won’t be any part of the tray uncovered. Cover again and let it proof 30 to 40 minutes.
Coat your hands with oil and dimple the dough by pressing the pads of your fingers down, little spreading them out when they hit the bottom.
MAKE THE BRINE
Prepare the brine by mixing all ingredients on a bowl.
Pour the brine all over the focaccia. Don’t worry if it looks like is a lot of liquid. It will evaporate later during baking.
THE LAST PROOFING
Leave the focaccia rest for about an hour (while you preheat the oven). This last proofing allow the dough to absorb some of the brine, giving a wonderful taste as a result.
Once one hour has passed. Add a last drizzle of olive oil over the focaccia and sprinkle with coarse salt.
HOW TO BAKE
With a preheated oven at 250°C / 482°F. Put the tray with the focaccia in direct contact with the bottom of the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the focaccia to the middle rack and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
To check up if it’s cooking properly, lift one corner slightly (with a knife) and see if the bottom is dry and crisp. If it still looks wet, just leave it for another couple of minutes. The top should be of an intense golden color and the bottom should be completely dry.
Take out the focaccia from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes right in the tray. Take it off from the tray and place it on a cooling rack.
Brush it with a bit of olive oil and let it cool a bit before cutting and eating.
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