Rye Focaccia with Fennel (Yields one loaf)
- 2 tablespoons dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 ½ cups water
- 3 cups rye flour
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bulb fresh fennel
- 1 lemon (for zest)
- 1-2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
- Mix yeast and sugar with one cup warm water. Stir vigorously with a fork and set aside. Active yeast will form beer like foam or head. In a large bowl, mix rye flour with bread flour and kosher salt. Using an electric mixer, slowly incorporate the activated yeast, flour and remaining 2½ cups water. Add half of olive oil into dough, and continue to mix thoroughly until the oil is semi-incorporated. Cover dough and allow to rest in a warm spot for 4-6 hours.
- Once dough has roughly doubled in size, liberally coat a half sheet tray with some of the remaining olive oil.
- Spread dough out evenly onto the sheet pan using a rubber spatula, and allow dough to rise again for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Half fennel bulb and remove core. Thinly slice fennel using a sharp knife or mandoline slicer. Save fennel fronds.
- Using your clean fingertips, lightly poke into the focaccia dough to create a textured, irregular crumb. Evenly spread sliced fennel and lemon zest across dough. Top generously with sea salt.
- Bake at 450° F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.