Focaccia bread has existed since as early as the Roman era, though in different forms than it is known today. It was believed to have originated in Genoa, Italy – a port city with access to all types of grains and spices – and had its first written documentation during the 13th century. Focaccia is generally described as an unleavened, flat Italian bread that can be flavored with any number of herbs or olive oil.
Early recipes for focaccia included flour-water doughs cooked on hot stones or surfaces similar to pizzas. These toppings often consisted of onions, herbs from nearby fields, or cheese when available. Variations spread throughout Italy over centuries; especially popular embellishments were garlic, rosemary, olives, and thyme—the most common ingredients used today. As focaccia became more popular outside of Italy during the 19th century other toppings like nuts and seeds also were added for flavor and texture variety.
In modern times one can find authentic versions at bakeries around the world but variations can still be found stretched thin into pizza-like pies (sfincione), stuffed rolls (panzerotti cremaschi) or topping crunchy crackers (taralli). Regardless of shape and style Focaccia remains ever versatile: laced with flavorful oils like truffle oil, filled savories such as prosciutto cotto slices or lightly dusted with powdered sugar: you are sure to find something delicious!
While it may seem intimidating to make focaccia bread at home, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process so that you can make your own delicious focaccia bread in no time. We'll give you two recipes, one that requires kneading if you're in a hurry. The second recipe is a no-knead variant that (if you have the time) lets the yeast do most of the work!
Traditional Focaccia Bread Recipe
Ingredients and Supplies Needed:
- 2 ½ cups of bread flour
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (plus more for topping)
- 1 teaspoon of instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of warm water (115°F)
- Optional toppings such as cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs (rosemary), garlic butter, sun dried tomatoes, etc.
- Baking sheet or baking pan
Instructions for Making the Dough
Once all your ingredients and supplies are ready to go, follow these steps to prepare the focaccia dough:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Then add in the warm water and three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and knead until everything is fully incorporated. Knead for 10 minutes until it forms a smooth dough ball.
- Grease another large bowl with some additional extra virgin olive oil and place the dough ball into it. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- After 1 hour has elapsed, punch down the dough lightly and transfer it onto a greased baking sheet or baking pan. Using your hands or rolling pin shape into an even layer about ¼ inch thick. If using any optional toppings like cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs press them into the surface gently before allowing to rise again for 30 minutes until doubled in size again.
- Preheat oven to 375°F then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top with a crispy crust underneath - careful not to burn! Allow cooling before slicing into pieces and serving warm with butter if desired.
No Knead Rosemary Focaccia Bread Recipe
The trick to making delicious focaccia without kneading is to let the dough rest and rise overnight. Here’s how you do it:
- 4 cups all purpose flour (480 g)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (7 g);
- 2 1/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt or kosher salt (12 g);
- 1 teaspoon sugar (4 g);
- 3 tablespoons olive oil; plus more for greasing the baking dish (45 ml)
- 21/2 cup lukewarm water (600 ml); Plus extra as needed; Optional toppings like fresh rosemary or olives; etc.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil.
- Gradually add in lukewarm water while stirring with a wooden spoon until you form a soft ball of dough – adding more water if needed until desired consistency is reached. Try not to overwork the dough by kneading too much as this will create an overly dense final product!
- Once mixed, cover your bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit on the countertop for 12 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator; this will let your dough rise slowly which creates that light spongy texture we want for focaccia! During resting time make sure no draft hits your bowl so no extra moisture evaporates from inside!
- After 12 hours of rising prepare your baking pan by lightly greasing it with olive oil then set it aside ready for use later on
- Transfer risen dough into the prepared baking pan then press down gently stretching corners outwards towards the sides of the pan - be careful not to rip apart the surface while pressing. If you're using any additional toppings such as rosemary now would be a time when those can be placed right onto the unbaked foccacia surface before going into the oven.
- Bake in preheated oven at 425 deg F (220 C) uncovered for around 25 minutes rotating midway through the baking process so both sides get browned equally leaving the center still moist yet crunchy! Make sure during this step to pay close attention so the top won't overburn - when ready remove from the oven leave cool before slicing!
Bottom Line: Two Option Focaccia Recipe
Making focaccia bread at home might seem like an intimidating task. But with such a wonderful recipe hope to make it easy! With just a few simple ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, bread flour, and instant yeast plus some optional toppings like cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs, you can make delicious focaccia right in your kitchen! Thank you so much for trying out these two great recipes – we hope you found them helpful!