This afternoon I decided to try one of Marcella's Focaccia recipes. I haven't done a lot of breads, but everything I've ever made from Marcella's books has come out perfect, so I decided to have a bash.
Her recipe for Focaccia with onion topping (More Classic Italian Cooking, p. 53 in my edition) calls for 3 cups of flour and 1 package of yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. I followed this exactly, since Marcella insists that you do what she says :-), but the flour was extremely difficult to work with. My wife, who has done some breadmaking, says that she would normally expect 3 cups of flour to use 1 cup of water. Marcella's other bread recipes, in fact, do follow the proportions my wife indicated.
I'm still waiting to see if the thing is going to rise, so I'll let you all know what happens, but my question is this: Is 1/2 cup wrong, or does the texture of Focaccia require this unusual proportion? If 1/2 cup is correct, then I'd say that kneading Focaccia is definitely NOT for beginners.
Many thanks, fellow Chowhounds.