Oh! How I love that Italian oven bake bread. You can find it everywhere in Italy, from restaurant to little bakery, or the supermarket.
Today let’s talk about bread, my favorite one Focaccia Bread. Think about it, fresh oven-baked bread served warm with your main meal. Delicious!
Sometimes I don’t have time or did not plan ahead to make this delicious bread. Then it is time, for homemade Focaccia recipe to come to the rescue. You mix all ingredients together, no kneading needed.
Focaccia (foh/KAHT/tchah), or in Latin panis focacius, is flat-oven bake bread. It can be found throughout Italy and will vary in presentation with different toppings and spices. Even though it dates back to the Etruscan time it has remained mostly unchanged.
Focaccia has a very important place in Liguria cuisine. Focaccia has gained popularity and now can be found in different countries all around the world. It is a food staple in the Ligurian region. Liguria is a challenging area for bread making with its high humidity. This does not hinder the rise of the focaccia. It is actually a plus, for a perfect rise.
HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT FOCACCIA
I was first introduced to it in Liguria, years ago. We ate it all the time. Focaccia was our staple of Italian bread love and was able to get it wherever. It is so versatile; you can have it plain or with various toppings from herbs to a pizza base. You can even use it to make your sandwiches. It is actually quite hearty. The local fishermen take it out with them. My husband would stop by our favorite foccaceria (bakery specializing in focaccia) and it travels so well. It would still be warm and crisp by the time he got it home.
It is obvious Focaccia bread has gained a special place in our hearts. But our time in Italy came to an end and we moved back to the States. We had to leave behind the ease of access to those the local bakery and their treats.
Then two years ago, when we did a trip to Italy with the kids. It all changed. It was their turn to get introduced to Fresh Focaccia. They fell in love with it. The real challenge started. They asked how can they replicate this at home?
I had been taking this little bread for granted and I realized, once back in the US, how much I missed it. Focaccia was my comfort food. It was the way I was eating my simply perfect sandwiches: a fresh tomato slice & mozzarella with thinly sliced prosciutto. I could not find the focaccia we had in Italy anywhere, I tried so many different types and it did not have the same…. “Je ne sais quoi”.
So, why am I sharing information about focaccia today?
It is such a fun bread to make. It is a great base for some very fun lunch ideas, snacks, or a tasty starter for dinner with friends. Did I mention it goes great with a homemade Spinach dip? More on that later.
How can I eat it?
- Topped with different herbs
- Melt some cheese on top
- Use as a base for pizza
- Spinach Dip or any other idea you have
We worked hard on how to remake the focaccia at home. It is a fun recipe and very versatile as you can see.
During our trip 2 years ago, the girls ate their fair share of focaccia. During our talks about the trip, their favorite memory was when they first tasted focaccia.
So once back home, after hearing way too much how cool focaccia is, we got to work. Finding the perfect focaccia recipe was now our family challenge. Bringing the flavors out of our memory to our plate. Here is our current recipe. I say that, as we are always tweaking it. So, ENJOY and make it YOURS.
Foccacia Bread Recipe
400 gr. Flour
1 ½ cup water room temperature
3 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon heaping salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pack rapid rise yeast (2 ¼ teaspoon yeast)
- In a middle size bowl mix in water, yeast, and sugar.
- Add olive oil
- Add flour and mix until almost incorporated
- Add salt, mix for 2-3 minutes
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, let it rise for 2-3 hours loosely covered at room temp (our home is ≈ low 70s F) or in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours
- Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet, spread dough to corners by stretching it. When stretching it will create holes in the dough, which is fine.
- Sprinkle with salt and let it rise for 1 hour
- Preheat oven at 425F
- Cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until crisp
Notes: We have let it rise for 5 hours because we were having so much fun at the beach. When we got home heated the oven and put the dough right on the cooking stone and it was perfect. So, yes, it is a heart bread. You can play with the rising time, longer is better. We found out that cast iron brings its own magic.