How to make focaccia

Wicker basket containing a piece of Italian focaccia with bits of rosemary on top

What is focaccia?

Focaccia is a type of oven-baked Italian flat bread. It has a similar texture to pizza dough, and like pizza, it is made of flour, water, salt, and yeast. But it isn't baked with toppings, its surface is oily and salty, sometimes it also has rosemary.
Focaccia can be enjoyed as an appetizer, as a snack, as table bread or can also be used as to make focaccia sandwiches.

Focaccia is typical of the region of Liguria (where it is called fugassa in the regional dialect, pronounced foo-gas-sah), but has a long-standing tradition dating back to the Roman Empire. In fact, its name derives from the Latin name panis focacius. Panis obviously means bread and focacius derives from focus, which is a hearth, a stone-lined fireplace that was used for baking.

How do you say focaccia?

The correct pronunciation of focaccia in Italian can be written as foh-cahtch-ah, but if you click focaccia you can hear the correct pronunciation of the word and read the pronunciation thoroughly explained.

The ingredients to make focaccia

The ingredients for 6:
10 g of fresh yeast 
500 g (plus 50 g extra) of type 00 flour
1 tbsp (plus extra for drizzling) of extra virgin olive oil
1 small handful of coarsely chopped rosemary leaves

How to cook focaccia

  • Place the yeast and 250 ml of warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and stir to dissolve the yeast.
  • Add some of the flour, then add the olive oil and keep mixing.
  • Add 2 teaspoons salt and half the remaining flour and combine on low speed, then add the remaining flour and continue to knead with the mixer for another 5 minutes.
  • Place dough on a work surface and knead by hand for 3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. You may need to add a little of the extra flour if the dough is sticky. Sprinkle with flour, cover with a bowl and let the dough rest for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 210C. Drizzle your hands with a little olive oil and place the dough on a greased baking tray, about 30 cm x 45 cm, stretching to fit. With your fingers, make small indentations in the dough.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary, and drizzle generously with extra olive oil. Let it rest for 30 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

(Photo from Vogue Australia: "Cucina Luciana" by Sophia Young, recipes Luciana Sampogna, photography Mark Roper, styling David Morgan)

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24 gennaio 2024
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