• Biga
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Dough
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 3/4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • Filling
  • 1/2 lb thin-sliced salami
  • 1 lb thin-sliced provolone cheese
  • 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese (1 cup grated) or 4 ounces asiago cheese (1 cup grated)
  • Topping
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated) or 2 ounces asiago cheese (1/2 cup grated)
  • 1 Biga:.
  • 2 Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, cover and let the mixture rest, at room temperature, for about 12 hours, or overnight (I usually leave it closer to 24 hours).
  • 3 Dough:.
  • 4 In a large bowl, or the bowl of a mixer, combine the biga with all the dough ingredients except 1 cup of the flour, stirring to mix well.
  • 5 Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough becomes cohesive, then knead by hand or machine, until it's springy, about 5 minutes (or a bit longer by hand).
  • 6 Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise for about 60 minutes; it should just about double in bulk.
  • 7 Assembly and Baking:.
  • 8 Gently deflate the dough, divide it in half and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
  • 9 Cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
  • 10 Working with half the dough at a time, roll it into an 18 x 13-inch rectangle.
  • 11 Don't worry if it's not exactly 18 x 13, you can stretch it once it's in the pan.
  • 12 Transfer the dough to an olive-oiled half-sheet (18 x 13-inch) pan.
  • 13 Cover the pan and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • 14 After its rest, stretch the dough with your fingers to the edges of the pan; this may take some doing, but keep gently working it until it covers the bottom of the pan.
  • 15 If it is entirely too resistant, cover and let rest a little longer.
  • 16 Layer half the provolone atop the crust, then all the salami.
  • 17 Top the meat with the cup of freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago, then the rest of the provolone.
  • 18 Roll the other half of the dough into a rectangle large enough to cover the filled crust.
  • 19 Drape it over the filling and seal it to the bottom crust all the way around.
  • 20 Cut a small hole in the center to allow any steam to escape.
  • 21 Cover the focaccia and let it rise for 30 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • 22 Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes.
  • 23 Remove it from the oven, sprinkle it with the half cup of Parmesan or Asiago, and return it to the oven.
  • 24 Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the focaccia is golden brown.
  • 25 Remove it from the oven and as soon as possible use a large spatula to transfer it to a rack to cool (to prevent the bottom from becoming soggy).
  • 26 Slice into generous rectangles to serve.