Combine the flour, yeast, water, sugar, olive oil and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon just until all the ingredients are incorporated. The mixture will be quite damp, more like a cake batter.
After covering the bowl with cling wrap, set the dough aside to prove for about 5 hours.
The dough will double in size and appear very bubbly. The dough is now ready to use. (See Note 3.)
Preheat your oven to 220 Degrees C (430 F).
Line a 27cm x 18cm (11″ x 7″) brownie tin with non-stick baking paper, ensuring that the base and sides are well covered.I have found that the easiest way to do this is to dampen the paper, wring it out thoroughly, and press it into the tin. (See Note 4)
Starting at one end of the brownie tin and moving the bowl toward the other end of the tin, gently tip the dough into the tin. Be careful to retain as many of the air bubbles as possible. The dough will slowly ease itself into the shape of the tin. If necessary, dampen your fingertips and gently ease the dough into the corners.
Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the dough and add your toppings.Set the dough aside to prove for a further 30 minutes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the dough sounds hollow when the base is tapped.
Cool slightly on a wire rack to keep the focaccia crisp. Serve whilst still warm.
You will find spelt flour in supermarkets or health food stores. I have used organic for this recipe.
In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. You may have to adjust your measurements accordingly.
If you are not ready to use the dough you can place it in the fridge, ONCE it has doubled in size and is bubbly (ie: after the five hours proving). I have made one which had been in the fridge for three days and it was still delicious. Just bring it to room temperature before putting in the tin and baking. Be sure to allow 30 minutes of proving.
To get the paper to sit flat, I dampen it slightly, wring it out tight and shake off excess moisture. It will then sit properly in the tin. As the dough is very damp, the brownie tin provides structure for the focaccia.
For the most accurate measurements when baking, we suggest you weigh your ingredients.
When measuring flour, use the spoon and level method. Firmly compacting the flour by scooping the cup into it can cause your measurements to be inaccurate.
The serving size and nutritional information is based on the focaccia being cut into six and being enjoyed as a side dish.