recipe

Focaccia Bread: the recipe for a high and very soft leavened focaccia

Total time: 1H10 + Resting Time
Difficulty: Medium
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
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The focaccia bread (pronounced foh-kah-chya) is a flat, savory leavened bread from Italy which is similar to a pizza in style and texture. It has a crisp crust on the outside yet is chewy, soft on the inside. Perfect to enjoy it hot or fresh from the oven, you can serve it on its own as a versatile side dish or bread with soups and stews, or as a stuffed sandwich with cured meats, cheese and vegetables. Easy to make, both bakers and beginners can make in few simple steps.

Naturally vegan, focaccia bread is made with a very simple dough based on flour, water, extra virgin olive oil and fresh brewer's yeast. Once the dough has risen, spread out in a pan, season with extra virgin olive oil and salt flakes, then bake it in the oven. The result is a soft and fragrant focaccia bread with a slight savory taste thanks to the salt flakes which, melting during cooking, will form a shiny and tasty crust.

The ingredients are easy to find and can be assembled easily in a bowl with a wooden spoon, given the very soft consistency. What requires absolute attention, for a perfect success and a correct development of the gluten mesh, are the small and long waits explained step by step in our recipe; it is in fact through the rests that the dough relaxes, binds and becomes strung. As a finish we have chosen a sprinkle of oregano, but you can replace it with rosemary or a mixture of aromatic herbs.

Focaccia Bread vs Bread

Focaccia and bread show several differences. Bread is a leavened food that can vary in width and can be carved on the surface or braided. On the other hand, focaccia is much more like a pizza as it is a flat leavened food that is often topped with herbs, but unlike a pizza it rises more and is softer. Focaccia usually has a rectangular shape, but it can also be round or square-like.

Focaccia Bread vs Pizza in a Pan

What distinguishes focaccia bread from a pizza in a pan is the second leavening. This takes place directly in the pan, to allow it to develop in a rather uniform height. To obtain an alveolate and very soft product, the dough must be highly hydrated, with at least 70% water compared to the quantity of powders.

Focaccia Bread Ingredients

For making a focaccia bread, it is important to use some ingredients.

Flour – it is best to use flour type 0 or all-purpose one. Bread flour is another good option, but focaccia will be chewier on the inside.

Yeast, warm water and sugar – this mixture helps the focaccia to rise. Make sure the water is warm enough (around 110°F) otherwise the yeast will take longer to activate.

Extra virgin olive oil – it adds flavor and makes the focaccia bread soft.

Fresh herbs – add a new flavor kick. Choose your favorite fresh herbs as topping, we used oregano, but you can also add rosemary or thyme.

Flaky sea salt –  adds texture and savory flavor.

Focaccia Bread Topping Ideas

You can top your focaccia bread with your favorite fresh herbs, tomatoes, onions, parmesan cheese, or pepperoni. You can also drizzle infused herb olive oil.

Tips

You can also make focaccia bread with other flours, such as wholemeal, spelled or semolina.

You can also make focaccia bread ahead of time. Let the dough refrigerate overnight once placed into a resealable zipper bag instead of proofing at room temperature. Then, warm it up before baking the next day.

How to store Focaccia Bread

The focaccia bread can be stored at room temperature, in a plastic or paper bread bag, for 1-2 days. Once baked and portioned, focaccia bread can be frozen and then defrosted as needed.

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Ingredients
Flour type 0
400 g
Warm water
300 ml
Extra virgin olive oil
15 g
Fresh brewer's yeast
10 g
Fine salt
6 g
Granulated sugar
1 tsp
for seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
Oregano

How to make Focaccia Bread

Collect the water at room temperature in a large bowl together with the granulated sugar and completely dissolve the fresh brewer’s yeast.

Add the flour type 0 and mix lightly.

Finally add the extra virgin olive oil and fine salt.

Stir with a wooden spoon the time necessary to obtain a more or less homogeneous mixture, then let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.

Make 2 rounds of folds; with lightly greased hands, pinch the dough on the outer sides and fold it towards the center. Repeat after 30 minutes.

Cover with cling film and let the dough rise in a sheltered place for about an hour and a half.

Turn the dough over onto a lightly floured work surface and fold it back on itself, closing all sides towards the center.

Line a 30 × 26 centimeters pan with a sheet of parchment paper and grease the base with your hands. Then place the dough in the center and let it rest for 15 minutes, allowing it to relax.

Grease the surface of the dough and your hands, then roll out the focaccia bread up to the edges.

Cover with cling film and let it rise in a sheltered place for about 40 minutes.

Collect 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil together with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and mix quickly with a fork until the emulsion has thickened.

Gently remove the cling film and with greased fingers make the classic holes on the focaccia bread.

With a kitchen brush, spread the emulsion, letting the holes of the focaccia bread fill.

Sprinkle the focaccia bread with some oregano and a pinch of salt.

Bake the focaccia bread in a preheated static oven at 220°C/430°F for about 40 minutes, monitoring the level of browning.

Remove the focaccia bread from the oven, let it cool, slice and serve.

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