Hey guys, today we are making focaccia! Focaccia for me is the epitome of Italian cuisine, and whenever I get to eat one it reminds me of past vacations. Do you know this feeling when you eat something and have to think about the place you have eaten it before? Happens so often to me, guess I really connect my emotions with food. However, what is food but pure emotions? Life would be so boring if you ate just for the purpose of ingestion, right? So, you cook with emotions and you eat with emotions, at least that’s what I usually do. As Italians always seem like quite the emotional people to me, you can really taste that in their food. That’s why things like focaccia work so well for me, and I bet it’ll work for you, too! You’ll see.
What exactly is focaccia?
Focaccia is a traditional baked good originating in the region of Liguria in Italy. It’s one of the most typical and tasty products of this part of the country, called fugassa in Genoese. While it’s indispensable part of the Ligurian breakfast, focaccia can be as a small snack or, cut into pieces, served as a side with olives for the aperitif. You can buy it in every bakery in Italy, and there are different ways of making it depending on the region. For example, there is a version with onions, with sage or the one with cheese from Recco. Furthermore there a various lightly sweetened versions. Apart from that the recipe is pretty simple: You need flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil. So let’s get started with the basic recipe!
- 350 ml of lukewarm water
- 24 g of fresh yeast
- 500 g of flour
- 5 g of salt
- 100 ml of olive oil
- Sea salt
- Dried or fresh herbs
Let the yeast dissolve in the warm water. Mix the flour with the salt, then add the water and yeast mixture. Now knead everything with your hands until you have a nice and smooth dough. Yes, you have to get dirty with this one! Now take the ball of dough out of the bowl and sprinkle the bowl with some flower, then add the ball of dough again.
Next douse the dough with the olive oil, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough sit in a warm place for 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C.
After letting the dough rise for the first time, spread it onto a baking sheet prepared with baking parchment. Press the dough down until you have a round flat bread of about 2 cm thickness. Let the dough rise again for another 20 minutes.
Now after letting it rise for the second time, prick the dough with a fork. Sprinkle the sea salt and the herbs over the round flat bread and bake it for about 20 minutes. It’s done when you prick it with a toothpick and there is no dough sticking to it.
After the focaccia is done you should place the baking sheet onto a mat and cover the focaccia with a towel. This way, it gets nicely soft and moist. And that’s it!
The whole things is pretty simple, it just takes a bit of waiting between the steps. But you can wonderfully use that time to relax or prepare other dishes! I just love how versatile a focaccia can be. I mean, I made the basic version with sea salt and herbs for now, but I can imagine adding a bunch of things! How about one with my dried tomatoes, or one with chilli, or with olives. Or everything in one focaccia! My mouth is watering right now, yours too?