How to make Focaccia: Master this Italian Classic

written by Dajana 19. June 2020
How to make Focaccia: Master this Italian Classic

In Italy you can have focaccia at literally any time of the day and I think that’s beautiful. I believe we should introduce this kind of dolce vita in our everyday life as well – no matter where! It’s finally time to share this ridiculously easy recipe for original focaccia with you.

All You Need Is Love

… and Focaccia!

You can have focaccia at any time of the day! It’s one of the great Italian street foods, perfect when enjoyed freshly baked, plain or stuffed with vegetables, prosciutto or cheese or topped with onions, fresh cheese, tomatoes, etc. There are actually no limits! Also, there are definitely some regions that are actually quite famous for their take on it: Ligura and Puglia.

Liguria is considered to be the birthplace of this traditional Italian food. You’ll maybe hear about Focaccia ligure or genovese when you are there. The dough is about 1,5 cm thick, soft inside, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Also, you’ll find it topped with pesto genovese, onions or tomatoes at every local bakery. When in Puglia in the South of Italy you’ll hear about Focaccia barese. It is usually about 2cm thick and topped with salt, rosemary, tomatoes or olives. When in Bari, make sure to go to the historic bakery Panificio Fiore in the Old Town. You can thank me later! One of the best I’ve ever had!

It’s ridiculously easy to prepare

Focaccia is extremely easy to prepare! In the end it’s not sourdough bread, even though it does take some practice as well to make the perfect one at home! This recipe is ideal for one big focaccia or two smaller ones. If you go for the second option, simply divide the dough and feel free to choose two different toppings. Please follow the instructions below and let me know what your favourite focaccia is!

Focaccia with tomatoes.
My all time favourite.

Original Recipe for Italian Focaccia

Print recipe
Serves: 4-6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • DOUGH
  • 2½ cups lukewarm water
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (+ more for pan and finishing)
  • Flaky salt for finishing
  • BRINE
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm water
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm olive oil

Instructions

  1. Use a medium bowl to stir together water and yeast until dissolved.
  2. Grab a very large bowl and mix the flour and salt.
  3. Add yeast and olive oil, then stir with a spatula until incorporated.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Leave out at room temperature to ferment for ideally 12-14 hours. By then the dough should have doubled in volume.
  6. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil evenly onto a baking sheet.
  7. Use a spatula or simply your hand to release the dough from the sides of the bowl and pour it out onto the pan.
  8. Pour an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil over dough and gently spread across using your hands.
  9. Stretch the dough to the edge of the sheet by placing your hands underneath and pulling outward.
  10. The dough will shrink a bit, so make sure to repeat stretching once or twice over the course of 10-15 minutes to ensure the dough remains stretched.
  11. Dimple the dough by pressing the pads of your first three fingers in.
  12. To make the brine, stir together salt, water and olive oil until the salt is completely dissolved.
  13. Pour the mixture over the dough to fill the dimples.
  14. Let the focaccia rest for 45 minutes until the dough is light and bubbly.
  15. Thirty minutes into this final proof, adjust rack to center position and preheat oven to 220°C (=450°F).
  16. Sprinkle with flaky salt, add cherry tomatoes or olives.
  17. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the bottom crust is crisp and golden brown.
  18. To finish browning the top crust, place the focaccia on the upper rack and bake it for 4-5 minutes more.
  19. Remove it from the oven and brush with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil over the whole surface.
  20. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then release it from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  21. Serve warm, at room temperature or also cold. Focaccia is always great! 

Focaccia ligure

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