- 1 1⁄4-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1⁄4 tsp.)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 teaspoons. Diamond Crystal or 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for hands
- Unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- Flaky sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 8–10 ounces mozzarella, grated
- Whisk one 1⁄4-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1⁄4 tsp.), 2 tsp. honey, and 2 1⁄2 cups lukewarm water in a medium bowl and let sit 5 minutes.
- Add 5 cups all-purpose flour and kosher salt and mix with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms and no dry streaks remain.
- Pour 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil into a big bowl that will fit in your refrigerator. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover plastic wrap and chill until dough is doubled in size, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Or, let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 3–4 hours.
- Prepare your pan by generously buttering a 13×9″ baking pan – for thicker focaccia – or an 18×13″ rimmed baking sheet – for thinner, crispier focaccia (note: I used a 14×10 lasagna pan for something in-between). Pour 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil into center of pan.
- Keeping the dough in the bowl and using a fork in each hand (note: I used my hands!), gather up edges of dough farthest from you and lift up and over into center of bowl. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat process. Do this 2 more times; you want to deflate dough while you form it into a rough ball.
- Transfer dough to prepared pan. Pour any oil left in bowl over and turn dough to coat it in oil. Let rise, uncovered, in a dry, warm until doubled in size, at least 1 1⁄2 hours and up to 4 hours.
- In the meanwhile, prepare your fillings. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and sauté until light brown, then add the zucchini, and cook for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Season with red pepper, salt, and pepper, to taste.
- Add the tomatoes and continuing cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down and are looking jammy. Remove from heat, and allow to cool while the dough finishes rising.
- Preheat to 450°. To see if the dough is ready, poke it with your finger. It should spring back slowly, leaving a small visible indentation. If it springs back quickly, the dough isn’t ready. (If at this point the dough is ready to bake but you aren’t, you can chill it up to 1 hour.)
- Lightly oil your hands. If using a rimmed baking sheet, gently stretch out dough to fill (you probably won’t need to do this if using a baking pan). Dimple focaccia all over with your fingers, like you’re aggressively playing the piano, creating very deep depressions in the dough (reach your fingers all the way to the bottom of the pan).
- Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Using about two-thirds of the cheese, sprinkle enthusiastically around the edges of the dough. Fill the center with the cooked veggies.
- Place in oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, until the cheesy edges start to darken. Remove the focaccia from the oven and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the middle of the bread, and on top of the veggies. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the focaccia until puffed and golden brown all over, 20–30 minutes.
Focaccia is best the day it’s made, and served warm. To reheat, place in a 250° oven for about 10-15 minutes until heated to (it also tastes pretty rad the next day, with a fried egg on top).