Ricotta & Spinach Focaccia Bread: The Recipe for a Soft and Delicious Savory Leavened Bread

Total time: 3hr20min.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Ricotta & Spinach Focaccia Bread is a soft and delicious savory leavened product, ideal to bring to the table instead of bread, for a tasty lunch; you can also serve it for an aperitif. To make it we prepared the dough with flour, milk, water, dry brewer's yeast, sugar, seed oil and salt; after the leavening phase, we spread the dough into the pan and made holes in the dough with the ice tray. To complete the preparation, simply fill the holes made in the dough with the mix of ricotta and spinach, then also sprinkling some grated cheese. The ricotta and spinach bread will then have to cook in the oven for about 40 minutes, ready to be enjoyed, very soft: it is excellent both hot and cold.

What Makes Focaccia Bread Different From Other Types of Bread?

Focaccia bread stands out among various types of bread for its distinctive characteristics and rich culinary heritage. Originating from Italy, focaccia is known for its moist, yet airy texture and is typically thicker than many other flatbreads. The key to its unique texture lies in its high olive oil content, which not only enriches the flavor but also creates a soft yet slightly chewy crumb with a crispy crust. Unlike many other breads, focaccia is often seasoned with aromatic herbs like rosemary, salt, and sometimes garlic, infused directly into the dough or sprinkled on top before baking. This imparts a savory depth that makes it versatile for pairing with a wide range of dishes or enjoyed simply on its own. Additionally, the dough is dimpled before baking, which helps to retain moisture and allows toppings such as herbs, onions, or olives to nestle into the bread, enhancing its flavor and texture. These unique features make focaccia a delightful culinary experience, distinct from more traditional loaves of bread.

What Can You Pair Ricotta & Spinach Focaccia Bread With?

Ricotta and spinach focaccia is a flavorful and versatile dish that pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments, enhancing any meal. Its rich, creamy ricotta and vibrant spinach toppings make it ideal for serving alongside a robust tomato soup or a fresh mixed greens salad, adding a satisfyingly light yet hearty element to lunch or dinner. For a more indulgent pairing, try it with slices of prosciutto or a selection of Italian charcuterie and cheeses, creating a delightful antipasto platter. The focaccia also complements pasta dishes well, especially those with lighter sauces like Alfredo or pesto, where its fluffy texture and savory flavors help to sop up excess sauce. For a casual snack or appetizer, simply cut the focaccia into bite-sized pieces and serve it with a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. These pairings allow the subtle yet distinct flavors of the ricotta and spinach to shine, making the focaccia a versatile addition to any dining occasion.

Tips and Variations

Ensure your milk and water are slightly warm (not hot) to help activate the yeast more effectively. Too hot, and you might kill the yeast, too cold, and it won’t activate properly.

–  Ensure the dough is placed in a warm, draft-free area to help it rise. Sometimes, an oven with the light on (but heat off) is a perfect spot.

– Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. This might take about 10 minutes by hand. Proper kneading improves the texture of the dough.

– Instead of ricotta, you could try other cheeses like feta for a tangier flavor, or a mix of mozzarella and parmesan for a stretchy texture and richer taste.

– Incorporate diced cooked chicken, sautéed mushrooms, or even some crumbled bacon or sausage to add extra flavor and heartiness to the filling.

– Alongside or instead of spinach, consider using kale, swiss chard, or a mixture of greens. Sautéed onions, garlic, or leeks also make great additions.

Fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or dill can beautifully complement the flavors. A pinch of nutmeg pairs well with spinach and ricotta.Baking

– Before adding the filling, pre-bake the dough for about 10 minutes. This helps prevent the bottom from becoming soggy.

– Use an egg wash not just on the top but also on the edges of the dough to get a beautiful golden crust all around.

– After baking, garnish with fresh herbs or a light drizzle of olive oil for added freshness and flavor.

– Serve with a side of marinara sauce or a creamy garlic sauce for dipping.

– Instead of one large baked piece, make individual pockets by dividing the dough into smaller pieces, fill them, fold, and seal like turnovers.

More Focaccia Recipes You Might Love

Focaccia Bread

Onion Focaccia 

Sardenaira Focaccia

Big Bubble Focaccia Bread

How to Store Ricotta & Spinach Focaccia Bread

You can store the ricotta and spinach focaccia bread for 1-2 days in a plastic or food-grade paper bag.

Find out how to make ricotta and spinach focaccia bread by following our step-by-step recipe and advice.

For the dough
210 ml
110 ml
Dry yeast
7 grams
12 grams
Vegetable Oil
110 ml
520 grams
10 grams
For the filling
Ricotta cheese
220 grams
160 grams
Olive oil
Sea salt
egg white
You'll also need
Egg wash
shredded cheese

How to Make Ricotta & Spinach Focaccia Bread

In a bowl add the milk, water, yeast and sugar and mix until the dry ingredients have melted.

Then, add the oil and whisk until you obtain a slightly milky liquid.

Add the flour and the salt and continue mixing with a hand whisk. When dough starts forming, knead it with your hands to obtain a smooth dough.

Form a ball of dough, place it inside of the bowl, cover it with the cling film and let it rise for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in volume.

After the time has elapsed, punch out the gas from the dough and transfer it to the baking tray covered with parchment paper. Flatten it with your hands and cover it with a cloth. Let it rise for another 20 minutes.

In a bowl, in the meantime, add the ricotta cheese, the cooked spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper and an egg white and mix with a spatula to combine and form a homogeneous mixture.

Once the 20 minutes of additional rising have passed, take the dough and make the holes using the ice cube container.

Fill each obtained hole with a spoonful of the prepared filling. Once you're done, brush the dough with an egg wash.

Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded cheese on top of each filling portion and then transfer to the oven and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 40 minutes.

Once the focaccia bread has cooked, let it cool slightly, then cut it in squares and serve on the serving dish. Enjoy!

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