• Focaccia fatta in casa •
Olives, tomatoes, roasted veggies, herbs, or fruits…the topping possibilities are endless with this base recipe for Homemade Focaccia. And no kneading required!
I’ve been away from blogging for a few weeks, but I’m finally back now! I just started a new job, so I’ve spent my time focusing on training and learning the ropes. And the past several weekends have also been busy; I used the opportunity to do some gardening, the fruits of which are now just starting to appear—herbs, Lebanese cucumbers, ichiban eggplants, and kaffir lime leaves galore! Sorry to those who sent me messages/questions during this time—I know my response time was often late. Now that I’m back in the swing of things, I should be much quicker in responding. Now, let’s get cooking!
Focaccia is one of my favorite kinds of bread to make because it’s uncomplicated and can be made with any ingredients you have on hand. What’s really appealing is that you don’t need to knead the dough. It comes together with just a wooden spoon or spatula in a bowl. It is a little finicky in that it needs two rises, one initial proofing then another when it is in the pan, but these are not so bad since it doesn’t have to be watched and you can do other things during the rising.
I love it with olives, herbs, or tomatoes, but you can use caramelized onions, cooked pieces of potato, roasted veggies, and even fruit. This time I made simple black olive with rosemary and oregano as well as a sweet focaccia using figs.
This recipe makes an Italian-style focaccia with crisp edges and soft, but dry, interior crumb. If you like a crisp focaccia, just cool it as usual on the counter for 15-20 minutes before slicing. But if you prefer that your focaccia has a softer, chewier consistency, after the bread comes out of the oven, allow it to cool on the counter with a kitchen towel draped over the top. This will preserve more moisture into the bread if you like it soft.
- 1½ cups warm water
- ½ teaspoon sugar, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice
- 1½ teaspoons yeast
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3½ cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ cup pitted, chopped olives
- small handful each of rosemary and oregano
- 1 generous Tablespoon olive oil
- sprinkling of coarse salt
- Using a bowl and a wooden spoon or strong spatula, mix together the warm water, sugar, yeast, and oil. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and salt and mix well to combine the ingredients into a cohesive, yet still tacky dough. Drizzle some extra olive oil onto the dough and throw it around the bowl to get the sides and bottom covered with oil (so it doesn't stick too much while rising). Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes. If your house is chilly, wrap the bowl in a blanket after covering it with the kitchen towel.
- After the dough has risen, dump it out onto a well-oiled baking sheet. Oil your hands and press the dough into the pan evenly. Drizzle on the generous Tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on your toppings, except for the salt (that comes later). Now you want to poke the dough repeatedly using your fingertips. Don't be afraid to rip and twist the dough a little, making valleys where the toppings and oil can get trapped. (It doesn't have to be perfect, it always looks nice and rustic when baked!) Cover this tray of poked dough with the kitchen towel and place it in a warm place again for another 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. After the dough has risen a second time, remove the towel and sprinkle it with the coarse salt. Gently slide the tray onto a lower rack of your hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the focaccia has browned nicely. Remove from the oven, brush with a little more fresh olive oil if you'd like (I sure do! 🙂 ) and cool on the counter for at least 15 minutes before slicing. For a traditional crisp-edged focaccia, cool on the counter as usual, but for a softer, chewier focaccia, drape a kitchen towel over the bread as it cools on the counter and let it cool under it.
-For the fig focaccia I made, I used the same recipe for the dough, but for the topping I used sliced figs, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 Tablespoons of sugar. I like it lightly sweet so for those with a sweeter tooth, use 2 Tablespoons sugar.
-If you have access to double zero 00 flour, definitely use it here but if not, regular all purpose flour works great.
-Sometimes I add herbs into the dough! Fresh is good but dried are fine, too. Use about 3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs or 2 Tablespoons of dried.