The night before you plan to bake the focaccia, make your “poolish.” In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, yeast and water. It will be a very wet mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel and set it aside at room temperature overnight. MAKING THE DOUGH:
The following morning (12-14 hours later), check your poolish mixture. It should be very bubbly and have bubbles that come to the surface and pop every few seconds.
Next, mix together the flour and salt. Measure out the very warm (105-degree) water.
Pour the water around the edge of the poolish to loosen the mixture from the side of the bowl. Add the flour and salt mixture and combine by hand until the mixture resembles dough. Note that it will not be the same consistency as traditional pizza dough – it will be much more wet.
Cover the mixture and leave it out at room temperature for 6-8 hours more. Either allow the dough to proof in a mixing bowl, or directly on your oiled baking pan BAKING THE FOCACCIA: Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Choose a cookie sheet with at least a ½ inch rim. Generously coat the cookie sheets with olive oil. Stretch the dough evenly onto the cookie sheet. See specific instructions for your toppings For Tomato Focaccia:
Brush or drizzle the top of your focaccia lightly with olive oil.
Add tomatoes, salt (you’ll want more than you think you’ll need), pepper and oregano.
Bake approximately 10 minutes, then add cheese and bake 5-10 minutes more until the dough is cooked through and toppings are golden brown. Garnish with fresh herbs, slice and enjoy! For Peach Focaccia:
Bake crust plain for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven, spread ricotta cheese on it, top with peaches (tightly packed onto dough) and then return to oven for 10-15 minutes longer.
Once it’s nearly ready, drizzle with balsamic glaze and cover with basil. Return to oven for one minute longer to allow basil to wilt.