Best Focaccia recipe (2024)

Best Focaccia recipe (1)

Throughout my life, I'm slowing ticking off things that are on my bucket list. Most of them are food and travel related and one of the items I have been trying to master is how to make the fluffiest, lightest, crispiest focaccia. You know the kind that you get in some restaurants where the bread is so soft with enormous air bubbles. I've tried plenty of times and while they've been decent they haven't been that pillowy soft sponge but then one day I was lucky enough to be taught how to make this incredible bread.

Best Focaccia recipe (2)

The woman that taught me how to make it was Gili Gold from Bake Bar in Sydney, an organic artisan bakery that is located in Randwick, Double Bay and Alexandria. Long time readers will remember that she also taught me how to make gluten free hot cross buns (and they were awesome and actually bread-like). Gili's passion really does show through when she talks about how she develops recipes. Originally from Russia and growing up in Israel her grandmother used to make cakes, pastries and baked goods. A lot of her items have flavours like za'atar and on Saturdays she also makes Russian rye loaves but the rest of the menu is regular sourdough, salads, sandwiches and coffees as well as a help yourself cabinet of pastries.

Best Focaccia recipe (3)

The method to this focaccia is unusual too and when reading through it I realised that all of my experiments to find the ultimate fluffy focaccia bread were doomed as I was heading in the wrong direction. I was adding too much yeast in the hopes of getting those big bubbles and I was adding oil into my dough. A regular amount of yeast is necessary for a focaccia but what it has is a high amount of water and you knead the dough for a total of 17 minutes slowly adding in more water towards the end! It's a similar method to brioche dough except instead of butter we use water.

Best Focaccia recipe (4)

Speaking of failed experiments, for the last 6 months I've been trying to try to get Mr NQN to be a more organised. This is only as far as putting away laundry. I was certain he adhered to the adage that if you do a bad job at something, people will never ask you to do it again. Every time he put away the laundry, no matter how many times I explained what of mine went in which drawer I'd find socks in the wrong drawer, bras and underwear wedged in with pyjamas and I don't know about you but sometimes I need a particular bra for a particular outfit and I would mind myself silently cursing while riffling through my drawers. "What are my socks doing here?" I'd mutter sorting them from the bras.

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"I'm going to show him," I said to myself. So for the next 6 months I decided to put the laundry away. Except this time I would put his things in all different drawers. I'm pretty sure I even let out an evil cackle at some stage, I can't be sure (that's what happens when you work from home by yourself, you become truly weird). I was sure that at some stage he'd be as equally frustrated and wonder why his things were no longer in an easy to find order.

And you know what?

He didn't even notice. Not a single complaint. Not a peep. Experiment fail. 0 points to me. I think I'll stick with food experimentation...

So tell me Dear Reader, is there a recipe you'd like to perfect? Maybe I can help! And any tips on the laundry thing?

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Did you make this recipe? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

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Print Recipe

Ingredients - dough

  • 500g/1.lbs. premium bakers white, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g/0.35ozs. sea salt / bakers salt
  • 5g/0.18ozs of fresh yeast (you can use dried yeast, just use half the amount so about 1 teaspoon)
  • 400ml/13.53 fl ozs. water, cold
  • Olive oil to grease bowl

You will also need a benchtop mixer with a dough hook and a spray bottle with water

Step 1 - Place 250ml of cold water in a mixer bowl. Keep the remaining 150ml for later. Add the yeast, salt and flour. Start mixing for 3 minutes on slow, then continue mixing for 10 minutes on fast speed. After 10 minutes of fast mixing slowly add 40ml of cold water and mix for 1 minute. Repeat 4 times. Total mixing 17 minutes. You need to watch your mixer because the mixer may shift or walk off your bench because you're mixing for so long.

Step 2 - Add olive oil to bowl and coat sides. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover and keep it on the bench for 1 hour until double in size. Knock all the air out and fold the dough with your hand 3-4 times, cover and put it in the fridge for 12 hours. Remove the dough and keep at room temperature for 5 hours before baking.

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Step 3 - Cut the dough into 3 x 300g pieces and shape with your hands into an oval shape. Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and store in a moist area until double in size.

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Step 4 - To cook the focaccia, preheat your oven to 220°C. Spray the inside of the oven 10 times with the water spray (this makes steam which makes the bread crispy). Bake in 220°C oven for 20 minutes until golden colour and soft in the middle. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and drizzle with olive oil.

Best Focaccia recipe (9)

Cherry Tomato, Basil & Bocconcini Focaccia

Ingredients – cherry tomato, basil & bocconcini topping

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large handful ripe cherry tomatoes halved
  • Pink salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 3 balls of bocconcini cheese

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Step 1 - Spread olive oil on the focaccia and with your fingers pushing it on top of the focaccia. Add the basil, cherry tomato and bocconcini and push it into the dough. Sprinkle with pink salt on top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

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Best Focaccia recipe (12)

Read these next:
» SOFTEST Maritozzi Italian Cream Buns
» Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art!
» 15 Minute Garlic Naan Bread {And Video!}
» Bird Seed Bread
» Sunflowers Focaccia Art
» Super Seedy Cape Seed Bread
» Sweet Onion Foccacia Style Bread
» Panettone Chocolate French Toast
» The Cheese Bread That Saved Christmas Dinner

Published on 2016-08-02 by Lorraine Elliott.

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Best Focaccia recipe (2024)


Is focaccia better with bread flour or all purpose flour? ›

Focaccia: The two focaccias were very different. The one made with bread flour was taller, airier, had much more open bubbles in the crumb, and browned nicely. In the mixer, the all-purpose dough never seemed to come together as a cohesive whole in the same way as the bread flour dough.

Why is my focaccia not fluffy? ›

Why is my focaccia not fluffy or chewy? It could be the type of flour you used. The best flour to use to make focaccia bread is bread flour which gives you fluffy baked bread. Or, it could also be because you did not knead the dough enough for the gluten to form a structure which can result in flat or dense bread.

What is the best pan material for focaccia? ›

Different surfaces affect focaccia texture in different ways. Baking sheets give a thinly crunchy bottom. Cast-iron pans (put in the oven) give more of a nuanced crunch. Our favorite cooking vessel for focaccia is a baking stone lightly sprinkled with semolina flour.

Why is my focaccia so crispy? ›

Temperature: I like to start the focaccia at 500°F, but I've also baked it solely at 450°F or even 550°F. The higher the temperature, the sooner the outside will brown and form a crust. From my experimentation, I noticed higher temperatures with a thinner dough lead to crispier focaccia.

Why is King Arthur flour better? ›

King Arthur Flour contains no bleach, no bromate, and no artificial preservatives of any kind. What you get—instead of those chemical bleaching agents—is flour from superior grains grown by farmers we trust.

Is focaccia overproofed? ›

Can you overproof focaccia dough? You can definitely overproof focaccia, but it is difficult. There is so much oil in the dough, and very little sugar, so the yeast is "sleepy" or slow due to both of those elements and less likely to overproof.

Should you stretch and fold focaccia? ›

Give the dough 4 sets of stretch and folds at 30-minute intervals, where the first set starts 30 minutes after the start of bulk fermentation.

Why is my homemade focaccia so dense? ›

Not enough water: This can leave you with dense, dry focaccia. For accuracy, measure out your ingredients using weight instead of cups to ensure you have the right ratio of ingredients.

Should focaccia be thin or thick? ›

The thickness of a focaccia can vary, too, but an authentic focaccia genovese should be rather thin, even if it needn't be quite as thin as my version presented here. So many non-Italian renditions of “focaccia” are more like bread in their thickness.

Can you use Pyrex for focaccia? ›

This recipe, originally from Alexandra Cooks has been our go-to focaccia recipe. A pyrex glass casserole dish is perfect for a thicker bread that can be sliced for making sandwhiches.

What are the two types of focaccia? ›

Venetian focaccia is sweet, baked for Easter and resembles the traditional Christmas cake panettone. Sugar and butter are used instead of olive oil and salt. Focaccia barese, which is common in Puglia in southern Italy, is made with durum wheat flour and topped with salt, rosemary, tomatoes or olives.

Which olive oil is best for focaccia? ›

Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil and don't be shy with it – this is a recipe that relies heavily on extra virgin olive oil not just for the taste but also for the texture and that golden and crunchy crust. It's important we are not skimping on the quality which is why I recommend using Rich Glen olive oil.

Which flour is best for focaccia? ›

Focaccia made with high-protein bread flour produces the best results, but all-purpose flour will work as well.

Why do you poke focaccia dough? ›

A well-proofed dough will have lots of air bubbles and. rises quickly. Massaging adds dimples that keep your. focaccia flat, as it should be.

What are the qualities of a good focaccia? ›

A light, honeycombed crumb hidden beneath a golden crust, moist with extra virgin olive oil, a hint of sourdough and crunchy flakes of sea salt. The truth is, good focaccia is one of life's simplest joys.

Is it better to make bread with all-purpose flour or bread flour? ›

Bread flour produces baked goods with more structure and chew than all-purpose flour, as all-purpose only has a protein content of 10 to 12 percent, versus the 12 to 14 percent of bread. All-purpose flour produces tender baked goods (as opposed to chewy ones) and is ideal for cakes, muffins, biscuits, piecrust, etc.

What happens when you substitute bread flour for all-purpose? ›

If you use bread flour in place of all-purpose flour, be careful not to overwork the dough: The higher protein content will increase the amount of gluten and make for a tougher finished product.

Do you use all-purpose flour or self-rising flour for bread? ›

All-purpose flour is used in almost everything such as biscuits, bread, and flaky pie crusts. All purpose flour can also be used as coating for meats and veggies, and as thickening agent in sauces, gravies, and soups.

Which flour would be most suitable when making bread? ›

While bread flour is the best option, it can sometimes be used if you don't have bread flour. “Check the protein content,” advises Chef Jürgen, since it can vary from brand to brand, and an all-purpose flour that contains protein on the higher end of the range, 12 to 13 percent, will produce a better outcome.


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