Focaccia is one of the best beginner breads to make because it's so forgiving and easy to shape. Combine bread flour with salt, yeast, olive oil, and water so it forms a wet dough. After you've rested the dough, add any toppings you like and let it prove again. Then bake the focaccia until it's golden brown and drizzle it with a little more olive oil just before serving.
[Edit]Ingredients

  • 4 cups (500 g) of bread (strong white) flour
  • 2 teaspoons (11 g) of salt
  • 2 1/4-ounce (7 g) packages of instant (easy blend) yeast
  • of olive oil
  • of cold water
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Fine sea salt, for garnishing

Makes 2 loaves
[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Making the Dough

  1. Put the flour, salt, and yeast into a bowl. Get out a large mixing bowl and put 4 cups (500 g) of bread (strong white) flour into it. Add 2 teaspoons (11 g) of salt to one side of the bowl and put 2 1/4-ounce (7 g) packages of instant (easy blend) yeast into the opposite side.[1]
    • Instant yeast can be mixed directly into a dough without the need to activate it first.

  2. Mix in the olive oil and the water. Pour of olive oil into the bowl along with 1 1/3 cups of the cold water. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to stir the liquids into the flour. Keep mixing and add the rest of the water to form a sticky dough.[2]
  3. Knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes. Since the focaccia dough is so wet and sticky, you'll need to leave it in the mixing bowl in order to knead it easily. Use your hands to pull and fold the dough until it becomes smooth and stretchy.[3]
    • If your hands stick to the bread as you knead, rub a little olive oil on them.
    • To make the dough using a machine, put the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook to beat the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes.

[Edit]Proving and Topping the Focaccia

  1. Cover the dough and prove it for 1 to 2 hours. Lay a damp cloth or piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and leave the dough at room temperature. Let it prove until it's doubled in volume.[4]

    • The dough will be puffy, but still stretchy once it's finished proving.

  2. Drizzle 2 baking sheets with oil. Get out 2 half-sheet rimmed baking pans and drizzle a little olive oil across the bottom of each. This will give the focaccia a crispy bottom crust and make it easier to remove them from the sheets.
    • Half-sheet pans are about in size.

  3. Divide the dough into 2 portions and flatten each to fit the pans. Turn the dough onto your work surface and cut it into 2 equal-sized portions. Use a rolling pin or your hands to spread each portion into rectangle and place it into the prepared baking sheet.
    • Use your fingers to push the dough into the corners of the pan.

  4. Top the focaccia with toppings if you like. Although classic focaccia is good with nothing else but a drizzle of olive oil on top, it's great when topped with with herbs or flavorful ingredients. If you want to top your focaccia, scatter thinly sliced or chopped toppings evenly over the dough.[5]
  5. Cover the focaccia and let them rest for 1 hour. Lay a damp cloth or a piece of plastic wrap over each baking sheet. Leave the focaccia to prove in the sheets for 1 hour so they rise just a bit.
    • If you added toppings, the dough should puff up a little around them.

[Edit]Baking the Focaccia

  1. Preheat the oven to and drizzle the focaccia with olive oil. Uncover the focaccia and press your fingertips into the dough as though you're massaging it a little. Then drizzle a little olive oil over the surface of the dough.[6]
    • For a little extra flavor, sprinkle some fine or flaky sea salt over the dough after you've drizzled the oil.

  2. Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes. Put the baking sheets in the preheated oven and cook the focaccia until the loaves are completely golden brown. Touch the surface of the dough to ensure that it's dry and not doughy.[7]
    • If the focaccia doesn't spring back when you touch it, return it to the oven and bake it for 3 more minutes. Then check it again.

  3. Slice and serve the focaccia. Turn off the oven and remove the baking sheets. Slide the focaccia loaves onto a large cutting board and use a chef's knife or pizza cutter to cut the bread. For an extra-rich flavor, drizzle a little more olive oil over the focaccia and serve it hot or warm.[8]

    • You can cut the focaccia into uniform squares or irregular triangles.
    • Although the focaccia will have the best texture the day it's baked, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

[Edit]Tips

  • If you don't want to bake both loaves at the same time, wrap 1 of them and freeze it. To bake it, unwrap the loaf and thaw it in the fridge for 8 hours. Then stretch it and bake the focaccia as directed.[9]

[Edit]Things You'll NeedAdvertisement


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • 2 rimmed baking sheets
  • Kitchen towel or plastic wrap
  • Electric mixer with dough hook, optional

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[Edit]References

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