Focaccia is a delicious bread that is prepared in numerous ways all over Italy. This classic recipe is sure to delight your tastebuds and dress up any sandwich.
I remember eating focaccia every day when I lived in Italy as a kid. My mother would buy it fresh at the supermarket because eating day-old-bread in Italy is pointless. There are so many bakeries that curate delicious and scrumptious breads of all varieties. There are countless ways of preparing bread and millions of different types, but none that I compare to the taste of focaccia. Focaccia is soft, flavorful and slightly fluffy. It’s not as hard on the outside as traditional Italian breads. Instead it’s flaky texture melts in your mouth with every bite. It’s so good, it can be eaten without anything else! Imagine the joy of opening your balcony, stepping out into the warm Tuscan air and breaking off a piece of fresh focaccia….are you in heaven yet?
Ingredients (for 12 servings):
4 cups of Farina 00 (00 flour)
1 package of active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 teaspoon on salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water (120 degrees fahrenheit)
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
If you have a Kitchen Aid, now is the time to pull it out! You’ll need the flat beater attachment. Once you have attached your flat beater set your machine to level 2 throughout the mixing process.
If not, grab a large mixing bowl. Add 3 cups of flour and salt to the bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, mix your yeast and 1/2 cup water. *Your water will need to be room temperature or about 120 degrees in order for the yeast to react and create bubbles as show below.*
Once you see these bubbles, add it slowly to your flour mixing throughout. Don’t delay in adding your yeast, you want to add it while it still has bubbles!
Slowly start mixing in the rest of your water and 3 tbsps of oil. Once the dough starts to appear soft, add the remainder of your flour and continue stirring. If you have a Kitchen Aid, replace the flat beater with the dough hook for the rest of the stirring process.
You’ll want to continue mixing until your dough is smooth and elastic–but not too sticky.
Now it’s time to roll your dough into a ball (see above) and place in a medium-sized bowl that has been greased with olive oil to prevent sticking. Cover your bowl with a dish cloth and let it rise for 1 hour.
Prepare a standard baking sheet for your dough to bake on (I recommend 15×10 inches) and grease it with 1 tbsp of olive oil. You can cover with aluminum foil if you’re afraid of burning. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take your dough out of the bowl and punch down the dough (this is the fun part!) so that it becomes flat on a slightly floured surface (in case it gets sticky). Press the dough out into your baking sheet and press down the dough to fit the edges.
Take a fork and puncture holes every inch throughout the bread (this will allow the olive oil to seep in). Brush the rest of your olive oil onto the bread. Add a pinch of salt and oregano to taste (or anything you like: olives, roasted red peppers, the possibilities are endless). Cover the dough and let it rise one more time for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, bake your focaccia for 12-18 minutes–depending on the thickness of your bread. I recommend eating this bread fresh from the oven for the ultimate dining experience. There are so many ways to love bread and focaccia is one of the best breads (I’d argue in the whole world).
Let me know how your focaccia tastes in the comments!