How to Make an Easy Focaccia Recipe and a savory variation:
Focaccia with Olives and Tomato Focaccia con Olive e Pomodoro
How to Make a simple savory Tomato Focaccia
I love baking and FOCACCIA is one of my favorites. Focaccia and “Schiacciata” (flat bread) are common in many parts of central and Southern Italy. In Tuscany Focaccia can be dressed with herbs, tomatoes, or grapes.
The recipe for Focaccia is simple and if you have a food processor or electric mixer making Focaccia will be effortless. Making Focaccia takes a good part of the day but most of the time is spent waiting for the Focaccia to rise.
Focaccia can be eaten by itself (you can’t stop until all the Focaccia is all gone!) or can be used for Focaccia Panini, stuffed with prosciutto, mortadella, or any other Italian filling that comes to your mind.
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1-1/3 cups (310 cc) water, lukewarm
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3-1/4 cups (450 gr) flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2-1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
3 oz (100 gr) diced tomato
3 oz (100 gr) pitted olives
8 – 10 basil leaves
Temperature is the most important factor for the Focaccia to rise properly. Be careful, especially in winter, to keep the dough is a warm place while rising.
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Set aside for a few minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil to the water-yeast mix.
In a large mixing bowl, add the 2 teaspoons salt to the flour.
Add the yeast-water mixture into the flour.
With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir vigorously stir to
Knead with your hands until soft dough is obtained.
Lightly spread a large bowl with olive oil.
Transfer the dough into the bowl. Rub the dough around the walls of the bowl to cover its surface with oil.
Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap, and place the pan in a warm corner of the kitchen to rise for about 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.
Spread extra-virgin olive oil lightly on a 12 x 16 inch (30 x 40 cm) baking pan. Invert the dough from the bowl into the pan. At this point the dough is very light and soft. Avoid pressing or stretching it too much.
Flatten the dough with the point of the fingers until it reaches the edges, and the pan is fully covered. Dimple the focaccia with your fingertips to create small depressions.
Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap, and place the pan in a warm corner of the kitchen to rise for 1 more hour. Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). Spread the remaining olive oil, the coarse salt, and the rosemary leaves uniformly on the surface of the focaccia.
If making the olives and tomato focaccia, spread tomato dices, basil leaves, and pitted olives over the dough (optional).
Bake the focaccia on the lower shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the surface is golden and the bottom is light brown.
Lift a corner of the focaccia to check readiness before removing it from the oven.