In the end, focaccia is nothing more than a type of bread. A flat bread, more or less risen, made in Italy after local recipes. The basic dough is simple and almost the same in most varieties (water, flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, with a few differences in the technique and plenty of varieties of the additions (aromatic herbs, vegetables, spices, cheeses or cold meats). It’s not that complicated. I will give you the recipe that I made the other day (actually, it was more than a month ago) in Feleacu. The dough is similar to the pizza (or the bread) one and it contains: 1 kilogram of white flour (I used 000 Arpis flour), 12 grams of dry yeast, 10 grams of salt, 10 grams of sugar, 120 ml of olive oil and 550 milliliters of water. The dough is battered like this: mix the flour with the yeast, the salt and the sugar (you can pass them through a sieve with big holes, airing helps). Add the water and the oil and batter for 6-8 minutes. Let it rise overnight in the fridge.
When it comes to baking, things are just as simple. You don’t need a wood-fired oven, with a bake stone, with thermonuclear energy or any other improvisation. No. You need a decent, home use oven that bakes in a (somewhat) uniform manner, but that’s not a condition, since you can turn the tray on the stove at any point. What do you have to do?
Stretch the dough in a 2-3 centimeter thick blanket, in a tray coated with olive oil. Poke the dough with your index finger (fine, use whatever finger you want) here and there, this will help reduce the quantity of air from the dough – it’s necessary to remove all the air.
Sprinkle coarse salt, freshly ground pepper (if you wish), white or black sesame seeds, fennel flower seeds (I happened to have some), spread some celery or parsley leaves, ramson or basil leaves, maybe even oregano (some will burn, but that’s alright, what is burned falls off, but not before leaving the flavor behind, and even the flavor of the smoke is wanted and easily obtainable this way, especially If you don’t have a wood-fired oven).
Fill the holes that you made in the dough with pieces if cheese. You can also put there cherry tomatoes, dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with olive oil and leave the tray with the dough in it in a spot away from draft/air currents, for at least 30 minutes.
Bake it for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. If it happens too fast (some ovens have occasional “personality” crises, so cover the tray with aluminum foil for a while). Don’t cut it until it’s at least half chilled. Stay healthy.