Usually called focaccia, often used as a substitute for bread, the Focaccia Bread is a kind of white pizza flavoured with aromas and seasoned with oil, salt and pepper.
In Italy we have different kind of focaccia and since I like to play with combination I tried to make a mix among them. Doesn’t matter which focaccia you want to preparare, the perfect focaccia has to be crunchy on the outside and soft inside.
Focaccia bread ingredients
- 450 g of flour (very strong white flour)
- 300 g of water
- 30 g oil
- 10 g of salt
- oregano, rosemary or whatever you prefer
- 100 g of Licoli (liquid sourdough) or a
starter prepared with:
- 100 g of water,
- 60 g of flour and
- 1 tsp of bread yeast
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 70 g water
- 30 g of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pinches of salt
1. preparation starter
Start refreshing the sourdough. For those who do not use it, simply prepare a starter. Increase the doses of yeast if you want to end the preparation same day.
starter : In a medium bowl, stir together water, yeast, and sugar. Cover with cling film and place the container in a warm place. Wait until the batter increases significantly in volume and becomes high and soft
2. dough preparation
In the meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk the rest of the water and the flour provided by the recipe. Once this is done, cover with cling film the bowl and set aside.
Fit the dough hook in a stand mixer, add the starter batter, the flour and the dough. Mix on low speed until evenly combined, then add the oil, little by little. Finally add the salt kneading for about 10 minutes, until elastic and smooth
4. stretch and folds
we proceed now with stretch and folds technique to strengthen the dough. With wet hands transfer the dough into a greasy work surface. Grab one side and stretch it up and over the dough to the other side. Rotate the dough 180° and perform another stretch and fold.
Rest the dough for 20 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold. Repeat this step for 2 or 3 times.
Shape the dough into a round, and leave to rise in a clean bowl, covered with a plastic bag.
Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about two or three depending on ambient temperature. During the winter I usually put the bowl inside the off oven with the light on .
6. refrigerate overnight
Once it has doubled move the dough to the fridge overnight. If you want to prepare the focaccia the same day, skip this step.
Transfer the dough out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 40 minutes
7. almost ready
with wet hands stretch gently the dough into a lightly greased baking pan. If it is difficult to stretch the dough right to the edges of the pan, let it rest for 10 minutes and try to do it again. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until soft and well risen.
with your wet fingertips poke the holes in the dough, tarting from the top of the pan and then slowly coming towards you.
In a measuring cup or jug, combine salt, oil, and water. Stir well until the salt is dissolved.
Pour it into the surface of your focaccia, each hole must be full of brine. At this point, let your focaccia rise for the last time, covered, at room temperature (or in the oven turned off with the light on) for about 1 hour until the the dough has soaked the brine.
If you like to season your focaccia scatter over some oregano or rosemary .
Pre-heat the oven at 220°C and bake the focaccia on the lower rack for about ten minutes, when the bottom is golden transfer it onto the medium rack only. Bake for 5-10 minutes more .
Bring the focaccia out of the oven and let it cool down on a cooling rack to prevent it from getting chewy;
before baking we can choose to prepare some variations of focaccia adding more ingredients :
- red onions: slice the onions, add salt and squeeze them well. Then spread them onto the focaccia with a sprinkling of oregano.
- Cherry tomatoes and anchovies. chop the cherry tomatoes and the anchovies and put them into the focaccia. Add the oregano
- Potatoes and onions. Add finely sliced potatoes in boiling water for some minutes. Slice the onions and season with the salt and squeeze. Scatter the potatoes and onions over the focaccia. Season with the oregano