Even if you’ve never baked a loaf of bread in your life, Italian Focaccia Bread is an easy, forgiving, and extremely delicious way to dabble. The famous flatbread is spongy on the inside, yet delightfully salty-crusty on the outside.
flaked sea saltto taste, such as Maldon (see note 4)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fit with the dough attachment, add warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to dissolve yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
With the mixer running on medium speed, add the flour in batches, 1/2 cup at a time. Add the salt and continue kneading until dough is smooth, about 6 to 10 minutes.
Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray or olive oil. Turn out the dough, shape into a ball, and place in prepared bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80 degrees to 85 degrees) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet (at least 13 inches long and wide) with parchment paper or coat generously with olive oil. Punch down the dough, then form in to a 12-inch circle (no more than 1 inch thick).
Brush the top of the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rise in a warm place (80 degrees to 85 degrees, see notes) until doubled in volume, about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dimple the surface of the dough with your fingertips, then brush the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle with rosemary and flaked sea salt to taste.
Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Cool at least 5 minutes, then cut into wedges.
Active dry yeast: Sold in small packets or jars at the store in the baking aisle. If you already have some, make sure it’s active and hasn’t expired. If you buy the jar, store it indefinitely in the freezer after opening.