Focaccia with olives is absolutely delicious, moist with golden oil-scented crust and tasty olives. The recipe is so EASY to follow, and no kneading and no stand-mixer are required. All you have to do is mix all the ingredients in one bowl with a spoon, and the dough is done.
Mix water, yeast, and sugar in a jug or in a bowl and let it rest until foamy (about 5 minutes)
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, add the oil, and mix with a spoon or a spatula to incorporate the flour (see notes below). Mix until no dry flour remains.
Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel, then let rest in a warm place for about 1 hour or until double in size.
Lay the parchment paper on a baking pan (mine pan is 9 x 13 inches), or simply grease with butter or oil.
When the dough is ready and fluffly, scrape the edge of the bowl and pour it on the baking pan. Dust with some flour and starting from the center gently press it out with your fingers until it fits the baking pan.
Then make the brine whisking together olive oil, warm water, garlic, and salt. You can place all the ingredients into a jar and shake them vigorously. Pour the brine all over the focaccia and poke dimples into the surface with your fingertips, you want to fill the holes with the brine.
Gently press the olives over the focaccia, then sprinlle the oregano, salt flakes and chili flakes if you use them (optional, but I love them). Then let it rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 430°F/220°C, and after 30 minutes of rest bake the focaccia until golden and crusty, it will take about 15-20 minutes. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
YEAST: you can use instant yeast instead of Active dry yeast, in this case you don't need to dissolve the yeast in water, but you simply add it to the flour (and skip the sugar). Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.QUANTITIES: the recipe yields 6 square slices like the ones shown in the picture. But if you serve focaccia as an appetizer, you can turn those 6 servings at least into 24 bite-sized smaller nibbles.
STORAGE: focaccia is best the day it is made but can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 1 day. Plus, it freezes very well.
MEASUREMENTS:I use both US cups and grams. The cups of flour are leveled: fill the measuring cup all the way to the top letting the flour flow over a little. Then, use the back of a knife to level the top off.
FLOUR:all-purpose flour is perfect for focaccia bread, but you can use also bread flour, or you can mix all-purpose flour and whole-grain flour, they work just fine.
WATER ABSORPTION: water absorption is the amount of water taken up by flour and may vary significantly depending on the type of flour, brand, and weather conditions. When you add water to the flour, start with the amount stated in the recipe. If the liquid is not enough to achieve that dough consistency as shown in the pictures above, just add gradually a little extra water until the flour has been incorporated.