- Prep time
- 20 minutes, plus 1-3 hours proofing
- Cook time
- 30-40 minutes
- 13x18-inch loaf
This delicious Italian bread is easy to make and fun to customize with your favorite toppings. The longer the dough is allowed to ferment, the better the flavor will be.
- 6¼ cups bread flour
- 3 cups warm water, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Choice of coarse salt and other toppings
In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine bread flour and 2½ cups of warm water. Mix on low speed until fully incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Whisk ½ cup of warm water, yeast and sugar until fully dissolved. Incorporate the yeast mixture into the dough, starting slowly and increasing the speed to medium. Mix for roughly 5 minutes until dough has a smooth, elastic and sticky texture.
Coat a large glass bowl with olive oil. Lay the dough in the center of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, mark the height of the dough and store at room temperature. Allow to proof until dough has doubled in size (this may take 1-3 hours).
Using oiled hands, fold the dough in half several times to deflate. Coat an 13x18-inch sheet pan with olive oil; lay dough on pan. Stretch dough flat to the length and width of the pan, being careful not to tear. If the dough springs back, allow additional time to rest and stretch again. Once stretched, drizzle oil across the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
Remove the sheet pan from refrigeration and allow dough to come to room temperature. Loosen the plastic wrap, allow room for proofing until it doubles in size again. The dough should rise and form air pockets.
Heat oven to 450ºF, place the rack in the middle of the oven. Remove plastic wrap, make dimples in the dough with oiled fingers by pressing down all the way to the sheet pan. Drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil. Add coarse sea salt to taste, plus chosen toppings (if any).
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bread has a golden brown, crisp crust. Remove from baking sheet. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.