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4- 1/2 teaspoons Yeast
2 cups Warm Water, divided
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5- 1/2 cups Unbleached White Flour
2 teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, Chopped (or 3 Tablespoons Fresh Sage, Or 3 Tablespoons Mixed Chopped Herbs)
1/2 cups Pine Nuts, Chopped (optional)


Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and the sugar in a large bowl. Let proof for 10 minutes. Add the olive oil and remaining warm water. Add the flour, salt and herbs. Knead vigorously for five to ten minutes. Add a little more flour if necessary to keep it from sticking. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the surface. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil with olive oil two 9x13 baking dishes or one large jelly roll pan (for thicker sandwich foccacia). Press dough into pan(s). Let rise for 30 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingertips, brush with good olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. I especially like it with chopped pine nuts gently pressed into the surface, about 1/2 cups chopped nuts. Place in the oven, reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (more for thicker foccacia) until light golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool. Variations: 1) You can add 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes to the wet ingredients as a variation, and then brush with sun-dried tomato oil for a more intense flavor. 2) Sauteed red onions or shallots, 1/2 cup chopped pitted olives, roasted garlic, or chili-infused oil are other interesting variations. For a delicious eggplant burger, split the foccacia and treat it as a hamburger bun, layering in baked eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, onions, etc.

Source: tastykitchen.com