1 1/2teaspoons dry yeast (check the date on the package to
2cups cold water
The bread topping
several springs of Rosemany
Place flour, salt, sugar, and oil in mixing a bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a dough hook. In a separate bowl, add yeast to cold water, mixing thoroughly to dissolve yeast. Allow yeast to sit for 5 minutes.
Remix yeast solution, making sure all the yeast has dissolved. Pour yeast solution, slowly, into flour mixture. While pouring, beat with dough hook (not the whip). When ingredients have come together, mix for an additional 5 minutes on low speed. When dough appears compact and spongy (similar to bread dough), place it on a lightly floured, smooth, cold surface.
Divide the dough into six 8- ounce portions and cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap. Allow focaccia dough to rise until doubled in volume. This may take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes. (If you have a pizza stone or tiles, place them on the bottom rack of your oven and allow them to heat.)
Stretch an 8- ounce portion of dough into a circle measuring 1/4-inch thick and approximately 9 inches in diameter. (If dough tends to contract, leave it alone for 2 minutes, allowing the gluten to relax, then stretch again.) Place on a large baking sheet or on a pizza peel strewn with cornmeal. Brush dough with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Strip the leaves from the woody stems of the rosemary and scatter over top. Repeat with 1 or 2 additional pieces of dough, depending on the capacity of your pan or oven. Place focaccie in preheated oven and bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, until bread is either soft or crispy (your preference).