I’m a sucker for good bread and focaccia is one of my favorites. I saw this recipe on Serious Eats and thought, no way! I’d rather knead my arms off (or make the KitchenAid do it) than have to wait until the next day for bread! My version works to make a beautiful and delicious loaf that when sliced in half makes awesome sandwiches.
Skillet Rosemary Olive Focaccia
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups warm, not hot water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
about 10 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
Coarse sea salt
Combine 3 1/4 cups flour, salt, rosemary leaves, yeast, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until no dry flour remains. Increase speed and knead for 10 minutes, adding the other 1/4 cup of flour if the dough is sticking to the sides or bottom of the bowl.
Form the dough into a ball tucking the dough underneath itself, rotating it until it forms a tight ball. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a large bowl and coat the bowl and dough before covering with a towel and setting into a warm place to rise, about 90 minutes.
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with corn meal. Transfer dough to skillet and flatten it to cover the entire pan bottom. Cover and let rest for another hour.
Preheat oven to 500°F
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil across top of dough and then distribute the chopped olives. Using your fingertips, pock the top of the entire dough. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake until top and bottom golden brown and it is crisp when you lift it with a thin spatula, 16 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly. Slice and serve. Extra bread should be stored in a brown paper bag at room temperature.