1 1/2 C warm water
2 T granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
4 C all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 T sea salt, divided
1 C of The Olive Bin's Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
1 1/2 C warm water
- In a large measuring cup, stir together the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should bubble and foam up if it’s alive and happy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place the flour and 1 T of the salt. Stir them together, then pour in the yeast mixture and ½ C of the olive oil. Mix on low speed until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Replace the paddle with the dough hook then slowly increase the speedy and knead for 5-6 minutes, or until the dough begins to stick to the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes by hand, until it’s soft, smooth, and only slightly sticky.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Turn it off as soon as it comes to temperature.
- Pour about 1 tsp of the remaining olive oil into a large mixing bowl, and place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat it evenly with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean, dry tea towel and place it in the warmed oven. Let the dough rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours, until it has at least doubled in bulk.
- Drizzle a 9x13 inch baking dish with 2 T of the remaining olive oil and use your fingers to spread it evenly across the base and sides of the dish. Place the risen dough in the baking pan and, using your fingertips, gently stretch it into the corners of the pan so it is evenly distributed and fills the pan. Be careful not to tear the dough or press it down too much – the goal is just to stretch it out a little and not to release the gasses from the rising yeast. Cover the dough loosely with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm, draft-free spot for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- The risen dough should be almost at the top of the baking dish. Using your finger, gently make dimples about 1-inch apart all over the surface of the dough, drizzle it with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining salt.
- Place the dish in the oven and turn down the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the outside of the dish. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before removing from the baking dish. This can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This recipe is from our Italy Cookbook by Emily Lycopolus - available in stores!