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Julian D’Ippolito’s Tomato Focaccia

Ingredients

for the starter:

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup tepid water

pinch of instant dry yeast

 

for the focaccia:

4 cups flour

3/4 tsp instant dry yeast

1 1/2 cups tepid water

 

2 tsp salt

3 Tbs olive oil

 

for the garnish:

3 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp dried rosemary

2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/4 cup passata (raw tomato puree)

2 pinches of coarse sea salt (I prefer Maldon)

Preparation

  1. For the starter, place ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and combine with a rubber spatula.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours. I make this right before I go to bed so it’s ready in the morning.
  3. For the focaccia, add the flour, yeast and water directly to the bowl with the starter in it. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 6 – 8 minutes. Add salt and olive oil and mix on low speed for another 6 – 8 minutes.
  4. With wet fingers, put the dough in an olive oil greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm area for 1.5 – 2 hours.
  5. Place dough in a greased oven-proof container that is roughly 13”x 10” and 1.5” deep. With wet fingers stretch the dough gently so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Cover and allow to rise for another hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  7. With wet fingertips, poke dimples into the dough to create pockets for oil to sit and to give it the traditional focaccia aesthetic.
  8. Time for the garnish, add olive oil, passata (it’s important to flood the top with the tomato puree. Don’t worry if it drips down the sides), dried rosemary, dried oregano and sea salt.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack for a minimum of 1 hour before cutting.

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