The bread that is almost a pizza.
(In fact, I made half the dough into a pizza for the boys)
When accompanied by this substantial side dish, even lighter soups or salads can be served as a meal.
For the dough:
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 packet or tablespoon dry yeast
5 cups flour
1/4 olive oil
1 Tbs. salt
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Add yeast. When the yeast is active, add your first cup of flour. Stir well. Add oil and salt and mix. Add remaining flour one cup at a time until the dough holds together. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until springy adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter or you. Let dough rest while you wash out the bowl. Grease the bottom of the washed bowl and put dough in, turning once so that the top is greased. Let rise in a warm, draft free place for 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, set out the toppings...
1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves cut up into small pieces
1 Tbs. minced red onion
1 clove garlic minced
2 plum tomatoes sliced very thin
Generous amounts of fresh grated Parmesan
Cracked pepper to taste
Cut the dough in half and roll, toss and stretch it like a pizza dough. Lay each half on a pizza stone or lightly greased pan. Press dough into desired shape and make indentations one inch apart throughout the dough to create pockets to catch and the flavorings you put on top. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle the rosemary over each. Add the onion and garlic. Top with the tomatoes and cover liberally with Parmesan. Add pepper over all to taste.
Place focaccia in a cold oven and set the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown and the cheese has that wonderful baked look.