There is something so satisfying to me about making homemade bread. I think it's a combination of feeling a great sense of accomplishment when I successfully use yeast and also loving the way it makes my house smell so cozy. I made this rosemary focaccia bread a couple of weekends ago, and we loved it. It was very easy to make but it adds so much to a meal!
1 2/3 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar in mixer bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Add flour, 1/4 cup oil, and regular salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Switch to dough hook and knead dough at high speed until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3-4 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1-2 Tbsp more flour. Knead dough for 1 minute longer (it will be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Generously oil a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking sheet and press dough evenly into pan. Cover completely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Stir together rosemary and remaining 3 Tbsp oil in a small bowl or cup. Make shallow indentations all over top of dough with your fingertips, then brush with rosemary oil, letting it pool in indentations. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over focaccia.
Bake focaccia until golden, 20-25 minutes. Immediately invert a rack over pan and invert focaccia onto rack, then turn right side up. Serve warm or at room temperature.
source: recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook