Add the sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, the water will be bubbly and frothy. (In parallel sieve the dough as mentioned below)
After 10 minutes, mix it nicely.
The yeast mixture is ready.
Preparing the dough
While the yeast is doing its magic, in a wide mixing bowl sieve the flour, salt.
Add the yeast mixture and mix the dough gently.
Now slowly add water (2 tbsps. at a time) and start mixing the dough to form a ball. If the dough is sticky, add more flour or if it’s too dry add more water.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
Grease a big vessel with sufficient room for the dough to rise with olive oil.
Spread some oil on top of the dough too. Keep this dough in the greased vessel and wrap it with cling film and set aside.
I kept it inside my oven. It took me 1.5 hours this for the dough rise.
Once the dough has raised, remove the cling film and punch it down.
Knead it on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes to build the gluten content and to remove all the air pockets.
Coat a baking tray with olive oil and transfer the dough to the bakeware.
Apply some oil on your fingers and press out the dough to a rectangle.
Now press fingertips all over the dough forming indentations.
Drizzle and spread the olive oil on top and sprinkle the olives and rosemary evenly over.
Let this dough rise for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 deg F and bake the bread for about 20 minutes or until it is brown and crusty.
Let it cool and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping or with soup.
After the first rise, you can knead the dough and let it rise again before pressing out the dough for baking. You can choose your favorite topping. You can go for cheese, and sun dried tomatoes or tomato and basil or other Italian herbs too. I would prefer plain extra virgin olive oil for this recipe (that’s what I used too), but you can opt for flavored oil too. Temperature plays a significant role in dough rise so wait patiently but during warm weather check the dough after an hour. If you are using instant yeast, no proofing is required. You can directly add it to the flour. In that case, add more water.