This week I am going to go through the steps of making a super easy and delicious Focaccia bread! I was inspired by a recent visit to one of Kyle and I’s favorite restaurants in Auburn called Moro’s Table. They generously serve a pile of hot focaccia before your meal. The main parts of focaccia are the combination of olive oil, salt, and crunchy exterior and soft interior. The bread can be made in a just a few hours, but the key to a good a focaccia is the folding technique to get the gluten to develop.
I use the Bread Ahead recipe on page 106 of their cookbook written by Matthew Jones and Justin & Louise Gellatly.
500g of Strong White Bread Flour
10g of Salt
400g of Water
3g of Instant yeast
80g of Extra virgin olive oil
Optional toppings: rosemary, crunchy salt, tomatoes, or olives
I like to start every baking endeavor by pre-weighing all my ingredients. I know using grams in the US is not commonplace but buying a cheap food scale is well worth it. It ensures that every recipe you make is super consistent. So, start by weighing all the ingredients out and setting aside.
Next, combine the salt and water. Bring together with your hand, or a dough hook (my new favorite kitchen tool!). Next, combine the yeast and water until dissolved. Once dissolved, that can be added to the flour mix. Bring together with your hand or a dough hook. This is a wet dough, do not add extra flour. It will dry the bread out and focaccia is not good dry. Flip onto a work surface and knead for 8 minutes. About halfway through the dough should become less sticky and that is when you know the gluten is starting to develop.
My dough hook from the Food Nanny
After kneading, coat a large bowl with some of your olive oil. Flip your bread into the bowl. This is where the key part comes in. You will fold your dough 4 times before it is baked. To fold you will take one edge of the dough stretch it up, and fold in half over itself. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and do that technique again. Turn and fold until you are back around at the start (a total of 4 folds). Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, and fold again. Do this three more times. After your fourth fold, put the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly oil a pan. Take the dough out of the fridge and place onto your baking tray. Pour the rest of the olive oil onto the dough and massage thoroughly to coat the entire ball of dough. Spread your dough out so it is flattened slightly. This is not a round dough type, but more of a flat pizza dough like shape. Next, using the tips of your fingers press into the dough down to the pan. This creates the classic “dimples” in the bread dough. After shaping, top with crunchy salt and rosemary for a classic focaccia, or vegetables. Leave out to prove for another 30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
When it comes out of the oven you can brush more olive oil on the bread and cool before serving. I hope you love this bread as much as we do!