Delicious focaccia you can make in a Crock Pot or other slow cooker.
Preparation: about 30 minutes; total time: about 4 hours. Makes 1 loaf.
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ oz active dry yeast (usually sold in ¼-oz packets)
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
About 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
Optional: ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Large slow cooker (about 6 quarts)
Large cutting board or other flat cooking surface
Clean dish towel or other cloth
Optional but recommended: cooking thermometer
Optional: pure olive oil cooking spray, or refillable oil sprayer (such as Misto) filled with olive oil
Ensure the water is between 100° and 110°F -- yeast is very picky. Combine water, oil, yeast, and sugar in medium bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.
If the mixture has not swelled and become slightly foamy within 5 minutes, it's possible that the temperature was wrong and the yeast has died as a result.
While waiting for the yeast to process the sugar, combine 3 cups flour with 1 Tbsp of the chopped rosemary and 1 tsp salt.
Pour water mixture into flour mixture; stir until rough, slightly chunky dough forms.
Flour the cutting board and place the dough onto it. Knead for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth.
It's helpful to keep a small pile of extra flour on the edge of the board, so you can re-dust either the board or your hands if the dough begins to stick.
Lay out enough plastic wrap to wrap the dough. Oil the surface of the loaf in one of the following ways:
Lift it out of the bowl with one hand and mist the top half with oil, then place the oiled side onto the plastic wrap and mist the remaining side; or
Oil the inside of a bowl, place dough inside, and rotate to coat.
Wrap the dough and allow to rise until it has doubled in size (about 1½ hours).
Punch down the dough.
Coat the inside of your slow cooker with oil. (It helps to err on the side of using slightly too much oil, as this will prevent the loaf from sticking to the cooker.) Add the dough and spread evenly across the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle remaining fresh rosemary over the top of the loaf.
Cover the slow cooker opening with a kitchen towel, then place the lid on top. The kitchen towel will prevent condensation from dripping onto the loaf while it cooks and making the edges soggy.
Cook on high until the dough has puffed up and the edges just start to turn brown (about 1½-2 hours).
Remove bread from slow cooker and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.