Foccacia Bread

A foccacia is very much like a pizza. Traditionally, there is no sauce or heavy cheese on top, but don't be limited by the lack of these two ingredients, the possibilities are endless. The foccacia can be used as a pizza, as a bread in accompaniment to a soup or stew, or split open and stuffed to make a delicious panino or sandwich.

2 teaspoons Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup very warm water
3 to 4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Paesano Olive Oil
3/4 cup cold water

Stir together yeast and sugar and add warm water. Stir and cover for about 10 minutes. Yeast is active and okay to use if it foams and has that great "yeasty" smell. In a mixer bowl, add flour and stir together with salt. Add yeast and blend. Add oil, blend. Slowly and over all the flour mixture, add the cold water to stop yeast from rising. Mix with dough hook for about 3 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add a little more water if the dough is dry or a little more flour if the dough is sticky.

Remove to a floured board and knead until smooth. Place in a deep grease bowl and cover with saran and a towel. Leave to rise in a warm draft free place for 1.5 hours. Remove from bowl. Punch down and stretch into greased 12 inch pizza pan. Let rest for about one hour, covered and kept warm.

Top with any of the following or create your favorite:

Brush with Olive Oil :

Sprinkle with Italian salt, coarse pepper and rosemary.
Top with Roasted Red Pepper strips, parsley and basil.
Sliced fresh tomatoes and chiffonade basil.
Sliced fresh zucchini, parsley, dill, garlic , and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano .
Roasted Marinated Eggplant , garlic, parsley and crushed red pepper.
Artichoke and spinach spread.

Bake at 450 degees, or until golden brown!
Enjoy !! Buon Gusto !!