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 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 dish.
- 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.
- 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.
This bread type has its origins way back in 1300. Even though each region in Italy likes to make it a little bit differently, this remains a national dish that you should try at least once. As you can see, it is not difficult to bake at home.
This means you can enjoy the fluffy goodness 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 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