You can really use any kind of topping or toppings, I just happen to really like manzanilla olives with pimientos. You can also double the recipe but use the same pan for a thicker loaf of focaccia, especially if you want to cut pieces in half horizontally for sandwiches. I usually don’t make sandwiches using focaccia bread, though, and so I like mine thinner. The olive oil makes them very crisp on both the tops and bottoms.
1 cup lukewarm water (about 110 degrees F.)
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for topping
Unsalted butter for greasing pan
2 Tablespoons olive oil for greasing pan, plus 2 Tablespoons more for drizzling
About 3/4 cup of your favorite olives, or more if desired, whole or sliced (optional)
Dissolve the sugar in the cup of water. Pour the yeast into the water and stir gently, then leave to bloom for about 5-10 minutes until bubbly and frothy.
Add the flour and sat into a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast water after it has bloomed into the well in the center of the flour mixture.
Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula or mix directly with clean hands until a dough forms and all the flour is moistened.
Temporarily scrape all the dough out of the bowl to coat it with olive oil. Place dough back into bowl and turn once to ensure dough is evenly coated with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave undisturbed in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
Punch down dough and recover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, leave out the dough for about 2 hours.
Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Grease a 9” x 13” pan (sides can be 1” to 2”) with butter, then rub in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Place dough into pan and press and stretch the dough to fit the pan, trying to keep it of even height and thickness. Gently work the dough without getting it too thin so that the corners are filled in. Cover with plastic and let sit for about an hour.
Drizzle 2 Tablespoons or so of olive oil on top of bread and make indentations on dough by pressing down fingers on top of dough to make dimples.
Top olives haphazardly but somewhat evenly spaced on top of dough, pressing down on the olives lightly. Sprinkle with coarse or flaky sea salt, if you have it.
Place in center rack of oven at 425 degrees F. for about 25 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown. Let coole for 10 minutes out of oven before slicing into squares or rectangles.