This recipe has changed my life for the better – I’ve quite literally cried eating this (more than once). It takes a little bit of planning ahead, but it’s not a difficult recipe and it’s a great place to start for anyone interested in making breads but intimidated by the process. It’s a simple yeasted dough, and doesn’t require kneading or a starter or anything too complicated at all.
You can customize with your toppings of choice – I like to make this as a starter and pair my toppings with the theme of the meal. Some ideas:
- Classic: baby tomatoes, rosemary, oregano, garlic, sea salt
- Greek: feta, black olives, sliced tomato, red onion, sea salt
- Creamy garlic: goat cheese, roasted garlic, sea salt
- Peachy: sliced peaches, honey drizzle
Feel free to mix it up and try your own blend of toppings as well!
This recipe can be adapted in a few different fun ways…
- Heart shaped: After making the dough according to the recipe, divide into three equal parts and press them into three heart-shaped pans (if you only have 1 or 2 heart shaped pans, you can use 1-2 6″ rounds for the remaining dough as it’s approximately the same size). Bake time will remain the same.
- Christmas Tree: Follow the recipe instructions, and use toppings such as green peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes, and feta cheese to create the shape of a Christmas tree.
- Mini: Ok this one isn’t really as fun… but the recipe can easily be halved to create a mini loaf. Just cut each ingredient in half and follow the same steps, but use an 8×8 or 9×9 pan instead of 9×13. Bake time will remain the same.
Here are a few videos showcasing the steps:
All-Time Fav Focaccia
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 315 grams lukewarm water
- 400 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil for drizzling
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 baby tomatoes halved
- 1 Tbsp rosemary fresh, if possible
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp flakey sea salt
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- Add yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water to a large bowl, and swirl it around to ensure there are no clumps. Let stand 5-10 minutes, until yeast has begun to bloom.
- Add in flour and salt, stirring to combine. It will be tough at first, but then the dough comes together to form a ball.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Drizzle olive oil on your work surface and flip the dough onto the surface. Pick up one side of the dough, stretch it, and then fold it over onto the rest. Do this with the opposite side of the dough. Repeat for the other 2 sides. Flip the entire dough ball upside down, so the seam is now facing down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the stretch, fold, and rest for 20 minutes at least 2 more times – up to 4 times if possible (the more stretching and folding you can do, the fluffier and doughier your focaccia will be!).
- After the final stretch & fold, place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. If in a rush, you can leave the dough out at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding to the next step. If you have time, place the dough in the fridge for 4-8 hours, or overnight.
- Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 475°. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Flip the dough into the pan, then cover it with a tea towel and place on top of your preheating oven*. This will warm it slightly and make sure it's ready to be shaped! *This is a hack from a Canadian who is regularly working in a cold kitchen. If your house is already fairly warm, you can just leave the dough on the counter.
- As the oven is heating, you can prep the toppings – chop veggies, crumble up cheeses, etc.
- Once the oven is at temperature, it's time to top the dough. Start by stretching it to the four corners of the pan (or as close as you can get). Then poke the dough to make indentations with your fingers – kinda like playing the piano! Drizzle with olive oil, and add your toppings of choice. Notes: Brush any veggies with olive oil to avoid burning. If adding minced garlic, wait until halfway through bake time to avoid burning.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let cool slightly, slice, and serve!
This recipe is adapted from my friend over at Tina’s Cucina: The Best Focaccia Recipe.