Focaccia is a kind of flatbread topped with herbs and other food products.
It is a traditional dish of Italian cuisine closely related to the popular pizza. The basic recipe for this preparation is believed to come from the ancient Etruscans or the ancient Greeks, however it is considered a delicacy of Ligurian gastronomy, called fugàssa in Ligurian.
The local specialty called fugàssa co-o formàggio in Ligurian or focaccia with formaggio in Italian (with cheese) is frequently made in Recco, a town near Genoa and is not a variant of fugassa (focaccia) because it does not contain yeast.
Check out a great Focaccia recipe for you to make at home!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make Focaccia but it comes together into the most beautiful soft and flavourful bread.
Perfect to a side of soup, to have with a cheese platter or just to simply enjoy on its own.
Focaccia is so versatile so you can use anything you have in your cupboard to flavour it, balsamic and caramelised inions, cherry tomatoes and olives, sweet chilli sauce or just simply olive oil, all so delicious in their own way.
2 tsp / 7g Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup / 250ml Warm Water
3½ Cups / 450g Bread Flour or High Grade Flour
3 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp / 45ml + 30ml Olive Oil
1 Sprig Rosemary
2 tsp Salt
- To start we need to make the dough. Mix two teaspoon of yeast with 1 cup of warm water, mix and set to the side to activate.
- In a large bowl measure out your flour, you’ll need 3 and half cups or 375g.
- To the flour we want to add 3 teaspoons of salt, yes this is a lot but this is a lot of dough and we want to flavour it well.
- And of course the star ingredient of focaccia olive oil. You’ll just need a couple tablespoons in the dough at this point but make sure to have more on hand for adding later.
- Your yeast should only take 5-10 minutes to activate, you’ll notice all the little granules have risen to the top and it’s starting to get foamy. If this hasn’t happened and you’ve used warm water make sure to check the expiry date on your yeast, it usually lasts 6 months or so so it may be out of date. Pour you foamy yeast mixture into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and using a wooden spoon or if you’re using stand mixer use the dough attachment and mix your dough until it starts to come together.
- It’ll be really thick and clumpy so when the wooden spoon is no longer really working turn it out onto a floured work surface and begin to knead. There’s no wrong or right way to knead, some ways just may be more efficient but the more you do it the more you’ll get the hang of it and it’ll start to become natural.
You basically want to fold the dough over itself and push it out, fold it over itself and push it out.
- As you continue to do this the dough will become softer and more elastic.
This develops the gluten which is what makes the texture of cake completely different than the texture of bread.
It’s pretty hard to get the hydration amount perfect as all flours are different so if you feel like it may need more water or a little more flour if it continues to stick to the work surface after you’ve kneaded it will you can add a small amount of either.
I though mine was looking too dry but as I kneaded it it came together really well and ended up being just about perfect.
You’ll need to do this for about 10 minutes or so or until your dough is soft, smooth and elastic.
- Take your bowl and pour in about a teaspoon of oil, shape your dough into a ball and place it into the bowl, coating it well in the oil.
Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise somewhere warm until it’s doubled in size.
This should take around an hour but could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the temperature.
Just keep an eye on it.
- When your dough has doubled in size take a baking sheet, the one I’m using is 35cm or 14 inches long by 25cm or 10 inch wide.
One around this size works well or if it’s a little smaller it’s not an issue your’s will just be a little thicker.
Alternatively you can break the dough in two and bake it in two smaller trays or pie dishes or a cast iron pan works really really well for this.
- Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto the base of your pan and top with your risen dough.
Coat your fingers in the olive oil from the bowl and start to press the dough down, spreading it the edges.
It’s not essential you get it right into the corners now, it may start to shrink back but thats fine we’ll fix it up later.
- When you have it in some what of an even flat layer cover it with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and either leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour to rise for the second time or do what I’m doing and place it into the fridge overnight to bake up the next day.
- I enjoy slow rising in the fridge when I make dough as it gives it so much more flavour plus it’s easier you don’t need to keep checking on it.
When you’re ready to bake your dough preheat your oven to 200 C or 400 F. Using your finger tips press over the entire dough making indentations right to the bottom of the tray, make as many or as little as you like, as you can see I like it dimpled all over but you may just want to make a handful of even marks.
Nows not the time to skimp on the olive oil, we want about 3 to 4 tablespoons drizzled over the bread, you can measure but I usually just eyeball it.
- Now is also the time you can use any other toppings you would like.
I suggested some earlier like olives and cherry tomatoes or sweet chilli sauce.
The olive oil will fall into all the little indentations of the bread.
Follow with some fresh romsemary, pulling it off and scattering over the bread.
As this baked it will leave your kitchen with the most beautiful aroma.
Finally follow with some flaky salt, a good few pinches sprinkled over the entire dough.
- Place your focaccia into the oven for about 20 minutes or until it’s risen up and starting to get golden brown on top.
- It should remove easily from the tray from the olive oil and leave it on a wire rack to cool.
This focaccia is so versatile.
Eat it as is or cut a few pieces to make the most amazing italian style sandwich or even use it as a kind of focaccia pizza hybrid.
So many options and so easy to make.
- Your focaccia is ready!