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Big Al's Rosemary Garlic Focaccia

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

Big Al's Rosemary Garlic Focaccia

My friend and former neighbor Big Al loves to cook. He gave us one of his Focaccia masterpieces a couple of years ago and it was so good I convinced him to show me how to make it. Big Al isn't into measuring much (never mind weighing to the gram like me!), but he got me started with ingredients and his process.

Yesterday was a dreary cool day in Florida so my wife decided we needed some bread to go with the soup she was going to make. If you didn't see the soup recipe for Mexican Salsa soup made with a rotisserie chicken in Parade magazine, check it out here.

Here's how it looked just out of the oven.

Focacci just out of the oven

I'll save a couple of crumb shots for later. Here is the ingredients I used.

  • Semolina Flour (Bob's Red Mill) 84 grams (1/2 cup)
  • Bread Flour 390 grams
  • Water (room temp) 360 grams
  • Sugar 15 grams (about 1 Tbs)
  • Instant Yeast 5 grams (about 1.5 tsp)
  • Salt 7 grams (about 1 tsp+)
  • Olive Oil (EVOO) 2 Tbs
  • Garlic, minced 1.5 tsp
  • Rosemary, dry 1.5 tsp
  • Kosher salt for topping


  • Make a marinade from EVOO, garlic, rosemary and set aside
  • Make a sponge from Semolina, 190 gr Bread Flour, all the water, sugar, yeast and let sit covered for a couple of hours
  • Mix rest of BF into sponge, autolyze 20 min
  • Add salt and 1/2 of marinade then knead (I did about 12 min in Bread Machine dough cycle)
  • Rise in oil coated bowl with 3 stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 min.
  • At this point I refrigerated the dough for about 2.5 hrs because I wanted to time the completion to dinner being ready.
  • Removed dough from refer and bowl. Placed on oil coated 9x13 sheet pan. Started the dimpling/stretching process with fingers and covered with rest of the marinade.
  • Repeated the dimple/stretch 2 more times at 30 min intervals (See PR ABED) to get into the corners of the pan.
  • Proof for about 45 mins, preheat oven to 500.
  • Sprinkle a little Kosher salt on top
  • Bake at 450 for 10 mins, rotate, bake for another 15 min.
  • Let cool for only a few minutes, slice and EAT warm.

Here is how the crumb turned out. I was amazed at the oven spring. After all the dimpling/stretching it was not very thick when it went into the oven. Didn't use stone or steam.

It was the best looking of any higher hydration bread I have tried. I calculated the hydration to be 76%, but remember this is in the high humidity of Florida so you may need a little more water. I cut back on the flour by quite a bit from previous bakes and am glad I recorded the weights because there will definitely be a next time. Taste great, excellent mouth feel.

Focacci crumb shot

And the required crumb close up. Best holes yet.

Focacci crumb close up

A big thanks to everyone that shares on this site. I would never have been able to make this this good without all the great info from so many. Thanks

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Submitted to YeastSpotting.


yozzause's picture

Hi Wayne

Very nice, I'm sure you will have a happy crew serving that up to them and i bet big Al would be impressd too. another great bread to try soon thankyou for sharing regards Yozza    

Franko's picture

Fine looking Focaccia with a very nice crumb. Nice job Wayne!