Set the oven to 18O C or 350 F. You will need a tray 30cm x 23cm / 9x 12in. Fopr a thicker focaccia. Or a larger thiner style tray size 35x25cm / 13 x 10 in.This dough can very easily be made by hand, but if you have a stand mixer attach the dough hook and incorporate all the ingredients as below.
Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water together and set this aside. The mixture should start to froth a little or at least start to dissolve
Mix the flour and salt together
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour all of the water in at once. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients with the yeast water stirring with your hand until you have a wet shaggy dough.
Turn the dough onto the bench and knead until you have a soft elastic dough. This will take up to 10 minutes of kneading. (If you have it in a machine knead till soft and smooth). Don't add lots of extra flour when kneading. If the dough is sticky add flour to your hands and rub them together to get rid of the sticky bits on your hands. Rub over the sticky dough on the bench and this will add a bit of flour and get all the sticky bits off your hands Use a bench scraper to move the dough from the bench if you have one. If not use a palette knife or fish slice. Adding lots of extra flour makes the bread dry
Now the dough is ready to go into a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Set aside for up to an hour to double in size. I like to use spray and cook, and never add extra oil when proving. It makes the dough slippery and hard to handle when putting into the tin.
Put the covered dough into a warm place. The dough will take about 30 minutes to an hour to double in size depending on the warmth of the environment or the freshness of the yeast. Once the dough has doubled in size put it onto the tray and push it out to the corners. You could also put it onto the bench and roll out with a rolling pin. Once it is even and flat put finger indents all over it. Cover the tray in greased cling film and set aside somewhere warm
The dough will take around 30 minutes or so to prove. It should look puffy and risen up the sides of the tray. It is important to not leave the dough for too long to prove. Risen but not too puffy (see below)
Mix the olive oil and the salt together and garlic slices if you want to use those. Smooth the dough gently with the oil mix to coat. Its ok if the indents get little pools of oil. Stud with halved cherry tomatoes and sprigs of rosemary or olives
Put the bread into the oven and bake until golden. This will take around 15- 20 minutes. Check under neath to make sure the bread is cooked and coloured nicely.
Once the bread is out of the oven slide it onto a rack to cool a bit.