Foolproof, Super-Easy Focaccia

You can make this without the onions and garlic, but really, why? It takes so little effort and impresses the heck out of your guests.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup warm water
3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil (keep the bottle handy)
1 packet yeast
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
4 cloves roasted garlic, mashed into a paste*
2 tablespoons onion paste or finely chopped green onions
Sea salt
Basil or rosemary for topping
Preheat oven to 375F, or 200C in the motherland.
1. Mix the yeast, water, and pinches of salt and sugar in a bowl. Proof (let sit for five minutes until it turns bubbly).
2. Add flour, oil, garlic, and onion, stir and knead for 10 minutes. (You probably needed the upper-body workout anyway.)
3. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
4. Stretch the dough until it has more or less covered the bottom of an olive oil-greased jelly roll or brownie pan. Somewhat freeform is all right and adds to its idiosyncratic charm. It should be about 1/2 inch thick.
5. Pour olive oil on top of the dough in a thin layer. Top with a few sprinkles of sea salt and the dried herb of your choice.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, or until it is SLIGHTLY browned.
7. Remove from oven and while still hot, pour about 1/4 cup more olive oil on top of the focaccia. Let absorb and cool slightly before eating.
*Roasted Garlic–Take a head of garlic and put it in a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle it generously with olive oil and wrap it up tightly. Roast in a 350 degree oven for an hour or more… when done the “innards” of the garlic should be a caramelly brown in color and smell nutty and mellow, unmistakably garlicky but with most of the sharp pungency suffocated out of it. You can remove the individual cloves and squeeze them like little tubes of toothpaste. Unspeakably heavenly as a bread spread or as an ingredient in practically anything.



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