Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.If you've been aching to try your hand at homemade bread but feel intimidated, this super simple recipe for homemade Focaccia with Rosemary and Sea Salt is an excellent place to start!
Mix yeast with lukewarm water (between 105-115F) and honey. Stir it together and wait 5-10 minutes. If your yeast is alive, you will begin to see a bubbly, foamy looking substance on the top of your mixture. It should also smell, for lack of a better word, yeasty and bread-like.NOTE: If there is no foam on the top of your mixture, DO NOT continue with the bread making process. Go out and get yourself some fresh yeast before continuing, or you'll end up with a solid brick rather than a delicious loaf.
Add all purpose flour, olive oil and kosher salt to the mix. Set your stand mixer to knead on low speed for about 5 minutes.NOTE: The dough should begin to come off the side of the bowl easily during this process. If it is sticking to the bowl, add more flour about a tablespoon at a time.
Cover the bowl with a clean towel and move to a warm, draft free place in your home. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
Invert the mixing bowl and dump the risen dough into a 9 x 13 that you've drizzled with a few glugs of olive oil. Rub your hands with a bit of olive oil and shape the dough by stretching it out and pushing your fingers all the way through to the glass. When the dough is in a roughly even shape in the pan, cover it again and allow to rise a second time. It should double in size again, although this time should only take about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400F during this second rise.
When the dough has risen the second time, drizzle with several tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with flaky salt (like Maldon) and fresh rosemary.Pop in the preheated oven and bake until golden and cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!
To keep yeast fresh, it is best to keep it in the freezer. Even yeast that has passed the "expiration date" will likely stay alive for much longer if you keep it on ice.
Live in an older house that is chilly and drafty? Turn your oven into a proofing box by placing a cake tin at the bottom. Fill with about an inch of boiling water, pop your covered bread dough onto a rack and close the door.
If you were using the oven to proof your dough on the first rise, just let the dough hang out on top of the preheating oven for the second rise.