Dutch-Oven Focaccia

2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
About 5 cups flour (2 pounds)
Fresh, chopped herbs of choice (such as rosemary or thyme), for garnish
Roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes or chopped olives, for garnish

Heat 18 ounces of water to between 90 and 100 F (Do not exceed 110 F). Add warm water to a large mixing bowl and mix with the yeast and sugar; let stand until foaming, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt and oil and enough of the flour to whisk into a batter. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add more flour a little at a time, pouring down side of bowl and scraping with spoon away from sides while turning bowl until dough comes away and is not sticky or tough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. It will be soft but firm. Roll into a 15-inch disc and place in a 16-inch Dutch oven or, for thinner bread, cut in half and roll out to 2 (13-inch) discs and place in 2 (14-inch) ovens. Let rise a little.

With fingertips press dimples all over top surface. Drizzle more olive oil over bread, filling most dimples. Sprinkle with the herbs and place oven over 14 pieces of charcoal. Cover oven and place about 18 pieces of charcoal on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Place the additional garnishes on top of bread and cover. Remove all heat from bottom and place as many pieces of charcoal as possible on top to brown, for about 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove bread from oven, cut in squares and serve.

— Recipe courtesy of Ron Clanton, founder of Rogue Dutch Oven Cookers.


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