Focaccia is an Italian flatbread much like the Greek lagana but with a denser texture. It is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and makes an excellent option for a pizza base. Topped with course salt and pepper flakes, it is the perfect bite of bread with any meal.

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4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon rock salt
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil (for dough)
1/4 cup olive oil (for bowl, baking sheet and top)

Place the yeast, honey and 1/2 cup warm water into a bowl and mix well. Let rest for 10 minutes or until frothy. In the meantime, mix the flour and salt until well combined in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the prepared yeast with the remaining water and the oil. Mix together and turn onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. The mixture should feel smooth and light (any impression you make with your fingers should spring back). Dust additional flour if the dough feels too sticky.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise for 2 hours. The dough will double in size. Grease a baking sheet and spread out the dough. Using your fingers, punch into the dough to create dips and valleys. Brush the surface with the remaining oil and let rest for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425°F. Just before baking, sprinkle the entire surface with a mixture of the rock salt and chili flakes.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to allow air to circulate around it. This will keep the crust crisp. Serve the same day.

Makes one 9” x 13” cookie sheet pan size.

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