This delicious focaccia with olives have an amazingly soft and fluffy texture that will remains like that for days after baked. It also has a nice crunchy bottom and a wonderful smell that will make your kitchen and heart sing!
300gr(2 cups + 6 tbsp) strong bread flour, with at least 11% of protein
30gr(5 tbsp) potato flakesor 1 cup of plain mashed potatoes
300-350ml(1 ½) cups water
15gr(3 tsp) extra virgin olive oil
2,5gr(1 tsp) dry yeastor 8.5 gr fresh yeast
8gr(½ tbsp) salt
150gr(⅔ cup) pitted green olives in brine drained
For the brine
50ml(¼ cup) water
20gr(1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
MAKE THE POOLISH
In a medium bowl place 1 cup + 2 tbsp (200ml) of water, add the yeast, honey and 1 cup (about 120gr) of flour. Mix well until a runny mixture forms.
Cover the bowl with cling film and let it sit for about 2 hours in a warm environment.
PREPARE THE DOUGH
Place about 3.4 fluid oz (100ml) of water in a cup, add the salt and mix throughly until disolved. Set aside.
Add the oil, potato flakes and the remaining flour to the bowl with the poolish, then pour the water with salt.
Using a spatula mix the ingredients until combined, add the remaining water if the dough is too dry.
Place the dough on a work surface and flour it lightly, knead for 2-3 minutes, just enough to to make a elastic and soft dough that will stick a little to your hands, if the dough is too dry add one or two tablespoons of water.
Form a ball and place it inside a bowl previously greased with a little bit of oil.
Cover the bowl and let the dough proof in a warm environment for about 3-4 hours, depending in the temperature. The dough should at least double in size after proofing.
Flour lightly a work surface, place the dough and fold it a few times as shown in the video or the photos below. Form a small folded rectangle.
Lightly grease a baking tray of about 8,5 x 12,5 inches (22×32 cm) and place the dough on it. Gently press and flatten the dough with your hands until almost all the tray bottom is covered.
Cover the tray with cling film and let the dough rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
PREPARE THE BRINE
While the dough is resting, prepare the brine: Place the water in a glass, add the salt and the olive oil mix throughly until combined. Set aside.
Drain the olives and place them in a bowl. Set aside.
MAKE THE FOCACCIA
After the last proofing you’ll notice that the dough have expanded reaching the borders of the baking tray.
Now, using your finger tips make the classic little dimples on the focaccia. If you have long nails and to avoid ripping the dough, use your knuckles instead. Flour lightly your fingers to prevent the dough sticking to your hands.
Pour the brine over the focaccia making sure all the surface is well soaked. Distribute the olives on top and sprinkle with dried oregano.
Bake at 440°F (225°C) with the steam on -or use a container with water as suggested in the notes- for about 12 minutes.
Turn the steam off (or take off the container with water), low the heat to 375°F (190°C) and keep baking until the focaccia is golden brown (between 10 and 15 minutes) and when you lift it a bit with a knife, it has the bottom dry and crunchy.
BAKING:30 minutes before the focaccia finish the last proofing time, heat the oven at 440°F (225°C) with the steamer on. If your oven doesn’t have that option follow this suggestion:Bring to a boil about 4 cups of water in a oven-proof sauce pan, as soon as it starts to boil and in the very moment you’re placing the focaccia inside the oven, place the sauce pan on the bottom, then follow the steps to bake the focaccia as indicated below.