500 grams flour
200 grams white leaven
362 grams water
4 grams (1 teaspoon) ground malt powder (optional)
5 grams fresh yeast
80 grams extra virgin olive oil
11 grams sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
Semolina for dusting
Weigh out the flour and measure its temperature. Calculate the preferred water temperature by multiplying the temperature of the room by two, and subtracting the temperature of the flour. Weigh out the water, add the malt (if you’re using it) and yeast, mix, then add this to the flour and mix with your hands. Add 30 grams of the olive oil, mix, and then add the salt and mix again. Knead once and leave for 10 minutes. Knead again and leave for another 10 minutes. Put approximately ¾ of the remaining olive oil in a container big enough to hold three times the volume of the dough. Knead the dough for a third time, and put it into the container with the olive oil. Dimple the dough with your fingers, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
Invert the dough onto an oiled baking sheet, flatten gently, and dimple. Fold into thirds length-wise, turn 90°, and repeat. Put it back into the container and leave for 40 minutes. Repeat this process twice more, until the dough has been folded three times.
Sprinkle a small sheet pan with semolina. Gently form the dough into a ball, place on the pan, and leave for 15 minutes. Gently stretch out the dough to begin covering the pan, and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat the stretching and sitting process twice more—the final stretch should leave the dough in a rectangular shape that covers much of the pan. Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips, insert rosemary needles into the dimples, and sprinkle the dough with sea salt and the remaining oil.
Bake at 210°C/410°F for 10 minutes, and then at 190°C/375°F for 25 minutes. For a more solid bottom crust: 8 to10 minutes before bread is done, remove it from the tray and put it directly on the oven rack.
*Garlic can be added to the rosemary, and tomatoes can be shoved into the dimples too, if desired. To make a sweeter focaccia, place grapes into the dimples and sprinkle bread with a bit of sugar, instead of salt.
**To make pizza dough: use less olive oil and more water, and after the third fold, portion the dough and put it in oiled plastic bags. Leave it in the fridge overnight; the dough will be ready to use the next day.