Try this easy focaccia recipe, then try some of our other brilliant bread recipes, such as a simple soda bread.
What is focaccia?
Focaccia is a puffy Italian flatbread made using plenty of olive oil and with a distinctive dimpled top. It is a yeasted bread and so follows a normal knead/rise/prove process but during the shaping and finishing that it takes on its familiar appearance. It’s most commonly found in the north-west of Italy around Liguria, a famous olive-oil producing region.
Which olive oil should you use in focaccia?
The olive oil you add to the dough and drizzle on top will be obvious in the finished bread so if you are only adding olive oil and salt, use one that you like the flavour of. There’s no right or wrong here – if you prefer a feisty, peppery oil or a mellow buttery flavour, that’s fine. Alternatively, you could use a fairly bland olive oil but then add lots of flavour.
How do you make garlic focaccia?
This recipe mixes rosemary with the olive oil but if you want to make garlic focaccia you can toss 2-3 cloves of sliced garlic with the topping oil. Other toppings that work brilliantly are halved cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies and cheeses that hold their shape after baking, such as goat’s cheese and feta.
Is focaccia vegan?
Focaccia (like a lot of bread) is naturally vegan – the only fat used is olive oil, which gives a lovely richness.
Is focaccia dough supposed to be wet?
Focaccia dough needs to be quite wet as the extra water in the dough creates the classic light texture as the moisture expands during cooking creating little air pockets. Try not to add too much extra flour when kneading if you can. Keep working it, first in the bowl then tipping and kneading on a smooth surface and it will eventually come together into a soft dough.
What should you eat with focaccia?
Focaccia is a fairly quick bread to make – it only needs an hour rising then 30 minutes proving before it goes in a hot oven for 20 minutes. It’s a great bread to make if you are serving a large Italian-style stew or a lasagna, as you can put it in the oven while you get the dinner together, then serve warm.
How should you serve focaccia?
We think focaccia is best served warm from the oven. You can keep it simple with little dipping bowls of olive oil or chilli oil and balsamic, or serve with a soft herb butter or herby soft cheese.
How long does focaccia stay fresh? Can you freeze it?
Because of the amount of oil in it, focaccia will keep without drying out for a few days in an airtight container, or you can freeze for up to three months. To defrost, leave out at room temperature overnight then reheat once defrosted. Simply wrap it in foil and put in an oven at 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 15-20 minutes to warm through.