How to make focaccia bread

How to make Focaccia Bread at home

How to make Focaccia Bread that will make you smile!

Focaccia is one of those breads that I never thought of making until I didn’t have any bread flour, the corona virus had us on lockdown and we had no bread.  It was at that point that I did a search for breads that could be made with plain (all purpose flour) and bingo up popped Focaccia. 

I just always assumed it would be really difficult. To make Focaccia bread at home is actually fairly straight forward and not very labour intensive as the kneading is less than with some other breads.  It also only has a 1hr initial proving time so doesn’t even take that long compared to some breads and the best bit is that you can make Focaccia Bread at home without any special bread making equipment.

how to make Focaccia Bread

What is Focaccia Bread?

Focaccia Bread is a flat oven baked Italian bread that has a similar texture to pizza dough.  It can be eaten alone as part of antipasti, as a table bread or even to make sandwiches.  With this recipe I will be explaining how to make Focaccia Bread with rosemary.  It is delicious with pasta and if you add more garlic than in the below recipe (in fact double it) it makes a great garlic bread perfect for sharing with friends and family.

If you are looking for a more traditional bread recipe that you can make at home without a bread maker then don’t worry I have you covered with this post;  Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

How to make Focaccia Bread;  Recipe

Ingredients

120 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I recommend using a good one with decent amounts of flavour)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 garlic clove crushed (leave this out if you are going to make focaccia bread to use with sandwiches or if you prefer it plain and double it for a garlic version)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried

235 ml warm water

7g active dry yeast or instant yeast

1/4 teaspoon honey

315 g plain flour

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

The How

  • Mix together olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic (if using) pepper and put it into a saucepan
  • Cook over a low heat for 5 – 10 mins; stir occasionally until you can smell the aroma, but if you are including the garlic then you don’t want it brown as it will taste bitter.  
  • Combine yeast, warm water and honey, stir and then let it sit for 5 mins (PLEASE NOTE YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS MIX SEPARATELY IF YOU ARE USING INSTANT YEAST AS IT CAN ACTIVATE WITH THE DRY INGREDIENTS)
  • Add 126g (1 cup) of the flour and a 1/4 of a cup of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture (Save the rest for later) to the bowl with yeast and honey. Stir gently a few times just to moisten the flour 
  • Leave it for 5 minutes

  • Add and mix in the rest of the flour and the salt.

  • Once your dough comes together in a ball transfer it to a floured board and knead it until it is smooth, but don’t go mad around 15 times will do.  You don’t want to overwork it.  This dough is stickier than many other bread doughs I have made and I was concerned the first time I made it.  I have found that I need more flour on the board than I am used to when bread making.

how to make Focaccia Bread

  • Put the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover it with a warm, damp towel

  • Leave the dough to rise for 1 hour.  I usually do this in my top oven with the lower oven on at a very low heat.  So the top oven feels slightly warm.  If this isn’t an option try to find somewhere warm to let it rise.  A cupboard near a boiler or just in a warm room will work nicely.

  • After one hour pre heat your oven to 200 degrees C 

  • Oil your baking tray using some of your left over olive oil and herb mixture.  Around 2 tbsps will be enough.

  • Put the dough onto the baking tray and press it into it so it fills the tray

  • Use your fingers to make dimples all over the dough and then use the rest of your olive oil mixture to drizzle all over the top of the dough

  • Leave the dough to rise for a further 20 mins (you just want it to puff  up a bit)

  • Bake the Focaccia Bread in the oven for around 15 mins (maybe 20 if your oven is not fan assisted).  It should be golden brown.  Leave it to cool if you can wait that long and then dig in!!

I love this Focaccia Bread and have made it both plain and with the garlic and herbs.  It is delicious both ways and perfect for family style eating or sharing or for a lunch time fresh salad accompaniment.  As with all bread making there is time involved, but it is so very worth it.  I hope you try to make Focaccia Bread at home as its yum!!

 

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