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What Is Focaccia?
Focaccia is an Italian flatbread baked in oil-coated sheet pans that is recognized for its olive oil-infused flavor, chewy texture, and dimpled, crisp exterior. An assortment of toppings are used on top of focaccia, with the classic being rosemary and salt. Focaccia can be served as an antipasto, table bread, or snack.
Make Focaccia Bread With 6 Simple Ingredients
- Yeast: Yeast is a crucial ingredient in bread making. It is what turns a dense mass of dough into a well-risen loaf of bread. Yeast works by consuming sugar and exuding a liquid, releasing carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol into air bubbles in the dough. It also develops gluten, giving the bread structure, and helps to make more flavorful bread.
- Sugar: The role for sugar in yeast bread is to feed the yeast.
- Warm Water: Warm water activates the yeast and dissolves some of the food in the granules. It warms the yeast to a temperature that is favorable to fermentation. Using cold water will not activate the yeast, delaying or even preventing the rise of your dough.
- Salt: Kosher salt is recommended for baking into the dough, while flaky sea salt is added at the end for pops of flavor and texture.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Adding olive oil to the dough creates a depth of flavor in your bread. While it may seem like an excessive amount, it is the secret to getting crunch top and bottom crusts.
- Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour: Bread flour or all-purpose flour can be used in this recipe. They both work wonderfully, but bread flour has a higher protein content resulting in a desirable chewy texture.
16 Topping Ideas for Homemade Focaccia
Rosemary focaccia is a classic, but you can customize focaccia with many different tasty toppings, from classic pizza flavors to Spanish and Greek accents. Here’s a list to get you started:
- Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Basil
- Grated Parmesan
- Sliced Zucchini
- Pine Nuts and Honey (drizzled on after baking)
- Sliced Lemons or Lemon Zest
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Feta Cheese and Black Olives
- Wild Mushrooms
- Artichoke Hearts
- Raw or Caramelized Onions
- Anchovies and Capers
- Sage and Mozzarella
- Grapes and Rosemary
- Za’atar Spice
Easy Homemade Rosemary Focaccia Recipe
Prep Time2 hr 30 min
Total Time3 hr
Focaccia is a very simple bread recipe to make, but the key to success is letting it rest in the refrigerator overnight before baking. The dough develops deeper flavors during the cold resting period, so it’s important not to skip this step unless you're tight on time.
- 1 ¾ cup warm water
- 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast (or active dry yeast)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 5 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus flaky salt for sprinkling
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- Combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl. Place the bowl in a warm place until the yeast bubbles, about 15 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the flour with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, ½ cup olive oil, and the yeast mixture and set on low speed. Once the dough comes together, turn speed to medium and continue to knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add flour by the teaspoon until it reaches a workable consistency, being careful not to add too much flour.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead by hand a few times. Dust with more flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Brush the inside of the mixing bowl with olive oil, return the dough to the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Coat a baking sheet with the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil. Transfer the dough onto the pan and, using your fingertips, spread it out to fit the pan. Turn the dough over to coat with oil.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour, and up to 12 hours. The longer it rests, the more flavorful it will get.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Stretch the dough to fit the pan if it's shrunk away from the sides. Use your fingers to make indentations all the way to the bottom of the dough. When the dough bakes it will create the focaccia texture you are looking for.
- Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt, rosemary leaves, and more olive oil over. Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the focaccia and let cool before cutting.
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