We Gotcha When it Comes to Focaccia. Recipe, Topping Ideas + More
OK, focaccia bread truly has my heart, and for many reasons. One – the obvious – being that bread in nearly any form is phenomenal. Two, because it’s probably one of the most beginner-friendly bread recipes out there. Three is that focaccia is basically a canvas for you to be both visually but also culinarily creative!
Focaccia bread originates from Italy. It’s flat-ish yet bubbly shape comes with it’s unique poking kneading technique. With this flat surface, focaccia is often privy to whatever kinds of toppings come its way. Some even call focaccia pizza blanca, because of its opportune topping potential. And did I mention? God, it’s all so, so good. If you want to get in on the goodness yourself, read along for all-things-focaccia! Trust me, after reading this, you’ll be ready to bring a lot of focaccia into your life!
Before we jump into the recipe, I think it’s important to note that top recipes recommend dough is left chilled before making. To me, this makes the focaccia baking process even easier! You can prep ahead or even prep in bulk, making getting freshly-baked focaccia that much more attainable in your day-to-day life. How great is that? The recipe below is very much inspired by an Alexandra Cooks recipe, which you can check out here. She offers TONS of great tips in her focaccia post and has uncovered lots of little secrets that help her yield an even more delicious product. My slightly-tweaked variation yields one focaccia loaf, but if you’re making it ahead of time and want to bulk batch on the dough, go for it! Double, triple, quadruple the recipe if you really want to. Just make sure to chill the dough before baking, and you’re golden.
What you’ll need
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- butter for greasing
- 2 tbs olive oil
- flaky sea salt
- toppings or mix-ins (see below for ideas)
What to do
- To make the dough sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast in a large bowl. Add the warm water. Using a rubber spatula, mix everything together until you are left with a sticky dough ball.
- Rub the surface of the dough with olive oil, making sure the surface of the dough is really slicked. Cover and place in the refrigerator immediately for at least 12 hours or up to three days.
- Line your focaccia pan with parchment paper OR grease with butter.
- Now, pour 1/2 a tbs of olive oil into the center of your pan.
- Poke your dough to deflate it and slowly rotate the bowl and use your hand to deflate the dough, shaping it into a ball. If you’re using a smaller pan, you may want to split your ball in half. If you’re using a bigger pan, one should be good. If you’re going for something even bigger, you may need to double the recipe.
- Take your dough ball (s) onto your prepared pan (s) and roll them in the olive oil. Let rest for 3 hours.
- This is a great time to start preparing your focaccia toppings, if you’re going to use any. If that is what you’re going for, scroll down below for Inspo!
- Once the 3 hours are up, preheat your oven to 425. If you’re mixing something (like herbs) into the dough, sprinkle it in now.
- Making sure your dough is properly coated in oil, poke your fingers into the focaccia to dimple the bread, spreading the dough ball(s) to the pan’s corners and edges.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. The crust of the focaccia should be a gorgeous crisp golden crust when it’s finished baking. Allow the focaccia at least 10 minutes of cooling before trying to remove from the pan.
Bake-in flavor variations
Want something a little bit more traditional but still with a flavorful flare? This rosemary focaccia is super easy to made but certainly does a lot to elevate the flavor! All you have to do is use dried rosemary mixed into your dough. Top with even more rosemary and whatever tastes good with it and, voila!
Cinnamon sugar dough
I love transforming recipes to accommodate for my massive sweet tooth, and adding cinnamon sugar to your focaccia dough would work beautifully with a sweeter topping. Who said focaccia had to be savory? No one here. Go ahead and try it!
I love a little extra color wherever I can get some and this beetroot focaccia is amazing at adding some subtle flavor to the bread while also making it that much more gorgeous. Beetroot juice or powder can help achieve the pretty pink color and subtle beetroot flavor. Top with whatever you like! This flavored focaccia will taste great with almost anything.
Asiago and herbs
If your favorite bread at Subway is Italian Herbs and Cheese, then congratulations, you just found a focaccia recipe you’ll love. Adding herbs and asiago cheese into your focaccia dough is genius and certainly packs a punch with flavor. Not to mention, sprinkling a little bit more cheese on top of the focaccia for an extra-cheesy crust is a MUST!
Delicious topping ideas
Fig + Walnut
Feeling fancy? These focaccia toppings are a little unexpected, but they’re truly great compliments of one another: Figs, walnuts, honey, and a soft cheese like brie. I think these ingredients together would make for a great sweet-ish focaccia but one that tastes mature and elegant. For a little extra kick, you can opt for hot honey drizzled overtop the focaccia.
Spinach + Artichoke
If the spinach artichoke dip is ALWAYS what you’re reaching for at gatherings, then you are going to absolutely love this recipe! Spinach, artichoke and cheese on focaccia equals a creamy, savory, delicious bread!
Peach + Thyme
More fruit on focaccia? Yup! Here’s a delicious-looking recipe for a peach and time focaccia. Peach’s strong juicy sweetness paired with thyme’s sharp season makes for an interesting but ever-so-satisfying bite. Also, bread dipping oil and vinegar is quite a win in this circumstance – yum!
Sometimes considered “naked pizza,” it’s clear why topping off focaccia with pizza toppings would work so well – and oh, it does. If you love a nice soft and fluffy crus on your pizza, then you’ll absolutely love throwing some pizza toppings over top of your focaccia.
Decorating your focaccia bread unleashes endless opportunities to have fun with your food and use your bread as a blank canvas for something beautiful. The options literally are endless so feel free to unleash your artistic style, expressing on pread. However, if you feel stuck for motivation or inspiration in terms of focaccia decorations, the following four are great ideas that don’t seem too difficult to complete and absolutely impress everyone with it.
it’s the perfect time of year to break out your focaccia pan and make an herb and pomegranate Christmas tree focaccia. I love how cute this one turned out, and it’s certainly not something you need to be a pro baker to be able to do, so simple slay!
similar to flowers, you can also replicate certain veggies growing in a garden, which I think is super duper cute! Just like the flowers, this focaccia is colorful, flavorful, and just a blast overall.
Thinking of giving someone a bouquet of flowers? Think again. Perhaps surprising a loved one with a bundle full of focaccia flowers would make their tay– it is pretty sweet and adorable, after all. Just arrange veggies like flowers, and boom! you have a beautifully decorated focaccia bread
Inspired by art? You’ll love this Da Vinci-inspired starry night focaccia bread. Really, using whatever may be tasty together on bread you can create art pieces of your imagination right on top of your bread, how crazy is that?
Needless to say, I hope focaccia is a much less intimidating bread for baking! It’s really so much fun and I think you’d get very into flavors and toppings once discovering how simple this bread really is to make, and make pretty!
What kind of focaccia looks best to you? Tell us what you think in the comments!
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