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Focaccia Bread Recipe & Video

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Focaccia is an Italian flatbread scented with olive oil. Warm from the oven this bread has a wonderfully crisp outside crust, yet inside it has a soft and tender crumb with a dense texture. While its thickness can vary, I prefer to make the Focaccia thick enough so I can cut it in half to make sandwiches. Usually rectangular in shape, it is instantly recognizable by its dimpled top, that is drizzled with olive oil and oftentimes a sprinkling of fresh rosemary. But don't limit yourself to rosemary, you can top your Focaccia with olives, garlic, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, sautéed onions, cooked bacon, cheese (grated parmesan or feta), sesame seeds, and/or a variety of oven roasted vegetables. 


A few notes on ingredients. We are using mostly bread flour (for a chewy texture) and a small amount of all purpose flour (plain flour). For the yeast, I like to use SAF Red Instant Yeast. This type of yeast gives a good rise and it doesn't need to be proofed. However, you can substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast but you need to activate the yeast first in warm water. To do this, remove about 1/4 cup (60 grams) water from the total amount called for in the recipe and heat it to lukewarm. Stir in the yeast. Let stand about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy. For the salt I like to use kosher salt. And lastly we need water. I like to use filtered water. The temperature of the water is very important when making bread as it determines the temperature of the final dough, which affects the rate (time) of fermentation (proofing). The desired dough temperature (DDT) should be between 74-77 degrees F (23-25 degrees C) so I find it best to use cold water with a temperature of about 60 degrees F (15 degrees C).

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Focaccia Bread: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, place all the ingredients. Knead the dough on 1st speed for about 8 to 9 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and sticky. (You can also mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and then knead by hand.)

Place your dough in a large bowl that has been lightly oiled. Turn the dough once so the top of the dough has a light coating of oil (this prevents a crust from forming on the top of the dough). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (about 75 degree F) (24 degree C) for one hour.

After one hour you need to stretch (fold) the dough to equalize its temperature and to strengthen the dough. To do this, take one edge of the dough and stretch it and then fold it back onto the top of the dough. Turn your bowl 180 degrees and stretch the dough in the same way. Then turn your bowl a quarter turn (90 degrees) and stretch the dough in the same way. Then turn your bowl 180 degrees and repeat the process. (See video for demonstration.) After that flip your dough so the bottom is now the top, cover, and proof for one more hour.

You will need a 10 x 15 inch (25 x 35 cm) baking pan. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil.

After the dough has proofed, using oiled hands, place it into the oiled pan and gently stretch the dough to fill the pan. If you find the dough resists stretching, stop, and let it rest for about 5 minutes and then try again. Cover pan with plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled or sprayed with a non stick cooking spray, and let proof at room temperature for 1 hour or until nice and puffy. (If you lightly press into the dough, your finger will leave a slight indentation.)

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 425 degree F (220 degree C).

When your dough is ready to bake, using lightly oiled hands, dimple the dough all over, spacing the holes about 1 - 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) apart. To do this press your finger straight down into the dough all the way to the bottom. Can sprinkle with fresh rosemary and Parmesan cheese, and then drizzle evenly with 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Finish with a sprinkling of salt.

Bake for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and bottom. The longer you bake the Focaccia the more crisp the outside crust will be. Let the Focaccia cool in the pan that has been placed on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and then using a serrated knife, cut into pieces.

The Focaccia is best the day it is made, but can be covered and stored at room temperature for two to three days or it can be frozen.

Makes 1 - 10 x 15 inch (25 x 35 cm) Focaccia.

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Focaccia Bread:

4 cups (520 grams) unbleached bread flour

1 cup (130 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (3 grams) SAF Red instant yeast

2 teaspoons (8 grams) kosher salt

1 3/4 cups (420 grams) cold filtered water

5 tablespoons (50 grams) olive oil

1/4 cup (25 grams) finely grated Parmesan Cheese


2 - 3 tablespoons (20 - 30 grams) olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

1/3 cup (35 grams) grated Parmesan Cheese


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