|Mise en place|
|A coarse, shaggy, wet dough|
|After the fourth fold|
You can make one huge focaccia in a sheet pan, or do what I do and put the dough into cake pans. I like to do it this way because it gives you the opportunity to have a variety of focaccia toppings (this amount of dough will fit into three nine-inch cake pans), and you can store the end product easier in gallon plastic bags.
To do this requires some work, though: you have to line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper.
|Use parchment paper, NOT construction paper|
The easiest way to do this is trace the outside of the bottom of the pan onto the parchment paper and cut it out from there. One tip is to draw on the side of the paper that curls up: that way, you can put the side with the ink or graphite on the surface of the cake pan instead of having the ink side up, touching the dough. It also stays on there easier while you pray it with Pam. Make sure the sides are heavily oiled, too: this dough is sticky.
From there, you have to divide the dough and put it into the pans. This is where it gets a little complicated: drizzle some olive oil on top, then dimple the dough with your fingertips so that it covers at least 70% of the pan. Then put it into a warm oven for about ten minutes, take it out and let it rest for another ten minutes, dimple it again to cover more of the pan, cover and back into the warm oven, and dimple some more. By the second dimpling it should cover the entirety of the pan, but the third dimpling can help even it out some.
|Dough in the pan, before dimpling|
|After first dimpling|
|After second dimpling: note the air bubbles|
|At third dimpling, all evened out|
Like I said, you don't have to put sauce and cheese on there, but you can if you want. The first thing I did to them was drizzle an herb oil on top. You can make an herb oil any way you want: your favorite herbs and spices mixed into a cup of olive oil and left to steep for a few hours. I like the traditional American-Italian flavors, so I put in plenty of garlic powder, oregano, and basil (both dried). Again, the point is for you to personalize it according to your tastes. These are the three I came up with:
|Herb oil and shaved Parmesan|
|Herb oil and "pizza" cheese|
|Herb oil and sliced Roma tomatoes|
|Oil and Parmesan: note the nice golden brown color on the bread and cheese|
|Oil and pizza cheese: the cheese got all nice and crispy|
|Oil and Roma tomatoes: the tomatoes cooked just a little bit|
|Note the coarse, airy interior: soft on the inside, crispy on the outside|
They turned out extremely well: so delicious, in fact, that they should be against the law. Make some at home while you still can.