Focaccia – is definitely one of my most favourite kinds of breads. There are so many interpretations and ideas of focaccia around the country and of what it should be like; this recipe is as close to the focaccia I was served throughout my childhood in italian restaurants around the world. Closer to home, the local bakeries make a thicker version, and more of a loaf-bread texture. For me focaccia has a crisp top, bread-y inside, and lot’s of flavourful toppings. A good focaccia does not need dipping condiments.
I’ve tried countless recipes to recreate but none justified my memory. But this one finally did – most of focaccia I found previously had a portion of olive oil in the dough – but this one is as simple as it comes – flour, salt, yeast and water. Olive oil poured on top along with toppings.
For me, a simple brush of olive oil, garlic, and sea salt is perfect – to be devoured with a wonderful bottle of wine. This is that focaccia. To humour the rest of the family, I added sliced onions, dried sage and rosemary with garlic – it’s delicious!
When you start kneading this dough, you may feel is sticky and wet – that’s the signature of a focaccia – don’t worry. Have faith.
You prove it twice, and then straight into the oven. You wash just 1 mixing bowl, 2 pans and the surface area you knead on. That’s all you need!
Serves Total time: 3 hours Need: 2 cake tins (8” by 8”)
- 10 g of instant dried yeast
- 465 g of flour
- 12 g of salt
- 320 ml of warm water
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp dried herbs (sage, basil, rosemary)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- oil extra – for greasing
- Whisk the flour, salt and dried yeast in a large wide bowl
- Slowly pour the warm water into the mix, while bring the dough together – knead for 5 minutes
- Then tip the dough onto a greased surface and knead well for 5 minutes, stretching out the dough to arms-length on the work surface, tucking the sides into the middle as you go – the dough will be slightly wet – don’t worry. If the dough sticks to your fingers and doesn’t come off quickly, add some more flour – but be careful not to add too much dough.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a bread cloth and leave for around an hour to prove
- Grease the two pans with olive oil
- Once the dough has doubled in size gently flatten and stretch to fit into the two greased pans, pushing and stretching the dough to the corners
- Cover the two pans and place in a warm place to prove again for 1 hour
- Preheat the oven to 220°C
- Whisk the olive oil with garlic and herbs and set aside
- Using the tips of your fingers, dimple the surface of the dough all over.
- Place the onions over the dough, and the olive oil mixture, followed by sea salt
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool
- Serve warm
- Storage: once completely cool, you can store in a bread box at room temperature
- Best consumed on the same day, like the Italians