Cloudy Focaccia Bread
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread. And when that smell is combined with the smell of roasted tomatoes, it can only mean one thing - focaccia.
- 450 grams flour
- 50 grams semolina + 1 extra spoon
- 230 ml water
- 3 grams of dry yeast
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- a few cherry tomatoes
- salt to taste
- Oven Tray
- Mixing bowl
- Cutting board
- Kitchen towel
Before moving on with the actual recipe, I will tell you a little secret about ourselves. We travel as much as possible, and Italy is one of the countries we try to go to once per year. I don't say this to brag but to help you understand how important focaccia is for me.
Italy is known for many dishes, but for me, 2 things make me complete when I visit this country. One is focaccia, and the other one is boboloni of which I will tell you about later on.
What I am trying to say is that I can go to Italy and not have pizza but not eating at least one fluffy focaccia 'panino' would be a complete no-no.
2020 didn't permit us to travel and left me craving for this pillowy, almost cloudy dough tasting of baked tomatoes. This is why I tried and tried until I managed to find the best possible combination for making focaccia at home. With no further ado, here is my take on the classic fluffy focaccia recipe.
How to make Focaccia Bread
- The first thing you will need to do is to mix the flour with semolina. I use semolina because, for this recipe, you need to have a strong flour type that is hard to get ahold of in Romania.
- Add the yeast, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and water and start mixing. I suggest you add the water gradually because some flours incorporate more than others. So the best thing to do is have patience and pour one-quarter of a cup at a time.
- Once the dough is formed, knead it well for at least 5 minutes. You will want to have an elastic, shiny dough.
- When ready, put a plastic wrap over the bowl and let it sit for 45 minutes in the oven with just the light turned on.
- Prepare a tray. Pour the extra semolina tbsp on the bottom, so the focaccia won't stick when you bake it.
- Take the bowl out of the oven and start kneading it one more time.
- Add it to the tray and start massaging it with your fingers to create the specific focaccia holes.
- Pour one tablespoon of olive oil on it and work your way to reach all the walls of the tray.
- Now let's focus on the focaccia toppings. Cut the tomatoes as you seem fit and gently add them along with the basil leaves in as many or as few holes you wish.
- Spread sea salt on it and cover the tray with a tea towel. Leave it for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400F).
- Put the tray in the oven and leave it for 20 minutes.
- I like to open the oven door after 10 minutes and rotate the tray, but you should not be crazy like me if you have a good oven.
- When it's ready, take it out of the oven and immediately pour the last olive oil spoon. Add more if you wish. At this moment, the focaccia is like a sponge. It will instantly absorb the oil.
- Take the focaccia out of the tray and put it on to a grate.
- Leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes before you start eating it. I know it's hard, but you have to wait unless you prefer a stomach ache.
And that's it. But is this the best focaccia bread recipe out there? I can't state that it is because I haven't tried them all. But truth be told, it this focaccia recipe is pretty close to perfection.
This means you can enjoy the fluffy focaccia recipe whenever you want from the comfort of your home. I know we are. Actually, probably more than we should, but who's counting?
If you were curious, this bread type has its origins way back in 1300. But let's check out other frequently asked questions about focaccia.
Q: Can you prove focaccia overnight?
Yes, you can proof focaccia dough overnight in the refrigerator. This method is often called a "cold proof," and it allows the dough to develop flavor and texture while slowing down the rise time. To do this, after the initial rise, cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping and baking.
Q: How is focaccia different from bread?
A: Focaccia is a type of flatbread that is similar to pizza dough but is thicker and more fluffy. Unlike bread, focaccia is typically baked in a sheet pan or skillet and is often topped with herbs, cheese, or other ingredients. Additionally, focaccia dough is usually wetter and has a higher oil content than bread dough, which gives it a softer texture and a distinct flavor.
Q: Where is focaccia bread from?
A: Focaccia bread originated in Italy, specifically in the Liguria region along the northwest coast. It is a traditional bread that has been made in this region for centuries and is still a popular staple today.
Q: Why is focaccia dimpled?
A: Focaccia is dimpled to create small pockets on the surface of the bread, which helps it cook evenly and also provides a place for toppings such as herbs and olive oil to settle. The dimpling also creates a distinctive texture that sets it apart from other types of bread.
Q: What does focaccia bread taste like?
A: Focaccia bread has a soft, fluffy texture with a slightly chewy crust. It has a savory flavor that is often enhanced by the addition of herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Some variations of focaccia may also include sweet ingredients such as fruit or honey, which can give it a slightly sweet flavor. Overall, focaccia bread has a delicious and distinctive taste that is perfect for enjoying on its own or as part of a sandwich or meal.
* If you prefer a different kind of toping, the sky is the limit. As a tip, rosemary is just another herb known to complement this bread the most. I suggest you experiment and see what combination you love best.
** Focaccia can be eaten as it is or turned into a sandwich, which I recommend. As a last suggestion, keep in mind that you will get a match made in heaven when combined with a tuna and mayo mixture.
Nutrition Facts / Serving
- Calories 452
- Total Fat 15 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 6 mg
- Potassium 189 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 69 g
- Sugars 2 g
- Protein 10 g