A well baked focaccia is always a winner – we always make sure to bake extra as these tend to disappear quite quickly. A focaccia is a very versatile bread, that you can vary with different toppings or stuff it with your favorite salumi, cheese, herbs and fruits.
A favorite these days is mortadella, basil and fresh figs from the tree at the back of the house.
We do love to bake with sourdough – BUT – for us a focaccia is all about crisp exterior and a soft and light crumb. This you get with traditional yeast – we like to use dry yeast. It’s easier to store, keeps longer – but also – it’s less aggressive – so it works more slow and therefore develops a better flavor in the bread.
We like to bake our focaccia in one of those pizza al taglio pans, that you find here in Italy – heavy iron, that keeps for years. We have had ours for more than 10 years and to be honest rarely washes them.
So for one focaccia you need:
370 g water
1 sachet of dry yeast – 7g
500 g all purpose flour, tipo 0
2 tsp fine sea salt
olive oil to grease the pan and drizzle on top
herbs, spices or flaky sea salt for topping
So pour in the water in the bowl of you stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and leave for 10 minutes to activate. Stir to make sure it’s all dissolved.
Add flour and place in the mixer. Mix for 10 minutes on medium speed. Make sure to scrape down the sides. Add the salt and mix for another 2 minutes on high speed.
Grease you pan with oil and pour in the dough. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top of the dough and with your finger tips start to punch holes, stretch and spread out the dough. You want to create a lot of holes, so the olive oil can seep into the dough.
Leave to rise for 3-4 hours until well risen.
Preheat your oven to 240c degrees.
Punch some holes into the focaccia, sprinkle over your chosen topping and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Our favorite summer snack is to open the focaccia and stuff it with very thinly sliced mortadella, basil and slices of fresh figs….Pure summer heaven on a plate and the perfect snack for your aperitivo.