Focaccia is another one of those recipes that you simply must try at home. I don’t remember ever having had a Focaccia in the UK that has impressed or delighted me as much as this simple homemade recipe.
It is a flat oven-baked Italian bread similar in style and texture to pizza doughs, and can be used as a side to many meals or as sandwich bread.
The common fault is that it is made commercially far too quickly (it should take a minimum of two days to make properly), and secondly, is made with no-where near enough olive oil in it.
It is a versatile bread that can be made with a number of different toppings (like a pizza) if you so wish. However, my preference is to keep things simple, with a punchy herb oil and a sprinkling of good quality salt.
This homemade Focaccia is a really easy and straight forward bread recipe, where you really can’t go too wrong. The dough will be quite wet due to the amount of water that is added, therefore I do recommend using a mixer with either a paddle attachment or dough hook. Good Luck!
- 600 grams Strong White Flour
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Instant Yeast
- 6 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
- 500 ml Water at room temperature
- 150 ml Herb Oil
- Step 1 Stir together the flour, salt & yeast ideally in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the oil & water and mix on a low speed for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. You need the dough to be smooth & sticky, but it should clear the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom. If the dough is particularly wet still after 7 minutes of mixing you may need to sprinkle a small amount of extra flour to achieve this.
- Step 2 Next sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto your work surface to create a bed for the dough. Tip out the dough onto the flour and dust the top with flour. Wait about 5 minutes for the dough to relax.
- Step 3 Stretch each side of the dough away to the side and fold back into the middle (like a letter) – shape back into a round, cover with cling film and leave for about 30 minutes)
- Step 4 After another 30 minutes repeat the above, stretching and folding. Repeat this another 2 or 3 times. After this, leave the dough on the surface covered for an hour, it should swell, but not necessarily double in size.
- Step 5 Line a 17 by 12 inch baking tray with baking paper – transfer the dough to the baking tray and using your finger tips, spread into a rectangle and push out to the corners of the tray as much as possible, thry to get the thickness of the dough as even as possible.
- Step 6 Drizzle the top of the dough with the herb oil, (it will look like an awful lot of oil, however, trust me, it is necessary and the dough will absorb all of it once it is cooked)
- Step 7 Loosely cover with cling film and put into the fridge. For a good Focaccia the absolute minimum amount of time it needs to spend in the fridge is overnight. However, it can stay in for up to 3 days! which will help develop further flavour and texture)
- Step 8 Remove from the fridge 3 hours before baking to allow the dough to get to room temperature. During this time, feel free to prod the dough with your fingers to flatten out and add a dimpled effect to the bread.
- Step 9 Put the tray into the middle of an oven at 230C. Bake for 10 minutes until it is starting to turn a golden brown, then turn the tray and bake for another 5-10 minutes (turning the oven down to 200C)
- Step 10 Remove from the oven and remove from the tray onto a cooling rack, you may have to peel the baking paper from the bottom of the bread. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing
Breads like Focaccia do require a high water to flour ratio. This ensures you get that great texture, with plenty of air holes running throughout the bread. With practice you can mix these doughs by hand, however, it can be messy!!! For recipes like this I always use my Kenwood chef with either the dough hook or paddle attachment. This will give you years of use and help you take your cooking and baking to the next level.