Hey guys, Lea here. Want to learn how to make easy focaccia? Let us show you!
Idriss wanted me to share with you our recipe for focaccia, and so here I am, with a sappy story to go with it. When I met him, I had never really made bread… I had a bread machine that was collecting dust and turned dough into tasteless and oddly-shaped rectangular bread-bricks. I successfully made baguette once but was too scared/lazy to recreate them again. Other than those trials, I was terrified of making bread; I’d never made pizza dough, pasta, or any doughs other than cookie…
He pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me learn to make pizza dough and focaccia. I say this like I had a gun to my head, but really, I’m grateful – the feeling I get after making a beautiful dough and then smelling and tasting that warm wonderfulness is so worth the effort. That being said… It’s not much effort at all! Win-win-win!
I like my focaccia fat and fluffy. Seriously though. The fluffier and softer, the better. Idriss likes it more with a crispy crust – sort of a pizza crust texture. Mama no likey. So when he asks me to make focaccia, I make it my way. Which is with olive oil, oregano, rosemary, cracked pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. I used to put parmigiano with it as well, so that’s your call.
Let’s get into it
The general rule for making focaccia is that for every cup of flour, you use 1 tsp of yeast. The rest is calculated by eyeballing and touch. You want a dough that is sticky but also forms an even and smooth ball. It shouldn’t stick to the sides when you use the mixer, and it should only stick to your hands a bit. To get there, I start by putting the flour, yeast and salt in my stand mixer, using a whisk to mix together the ingredients. I follow with my spices, and some oil. Then, with the stand-mixer on the slowest setting, I let it do its thang. The next step is adding lukewarm water – not cold, not too hot – a little bit at a time. You want to add just enough so that the dough is wet enough to form a ball, and then add a little bit here and there to get the desired texture.
Then, you let it rise until doubled in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp (or not) towel (about an hour) and then stretch it out as gently as possible onto your cookie sheet and let it rise, covered, again for about 30 minutes. Then you pop it in the oven and cook it until the smell fills the air and it’s slightly tanned. Let it cool on a cookie rack for a few minutes then cut and serve.
2 ways of cooking your focaccia: at 400 until browned, or at 350 until crispy on top but it will still be a bit white-looking. 400 for a crispy, Idriss-style pizza-style focaccia, and 350 for a softer, fluffy focaccia. Both ways are good, and it depends how you want to eat it.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- approximately 14 ounces of warm water you may need a little more or a little less
- Pepper rosemary, oregano - to taste
- Add the dry ingredients in a stand mixer and whisk them together to mix thoroughly
- Add the 3 tbsp of olive oil and mix on the lowest setting with a bread hook attachment
- Add warm water by adding 1/2 a cup at a time three times and then eyeball the rest - you want your dough to form a ball that only sticks slightly to the sides of the bowl at a medium speed
- Pick up the speed of the mixer and mix for 7-10 minutes - while mixing, follow the next step
- Grind your pepper and cut up your fresh rosemary and oregano, throw them in the mixer. Stop the mixer and fold the spices into the dough if necessary
- Take your dough out (once the time has elapsed), oil your hands and sides of the bowl, put your dough back in (reforming it into a ball if necessary), oil the top of the dough and cover with saran wrap or a towel
- Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled in size. It will rise faster in a warm environment, however do not put your dough in a recently warmed oven - it may actually start to cook your dough and keep it from rising - that being said, it may need an hour to rise.
- Once doubled in size, remove your dough from the bowl and place on a cookie sheet with a silpat (or parchment paper) covered in semolina (to prevent sticking and create a crispy bottom).
- Poke holes sporadically throughout the entire dough, oil your hands and lightly spread the oil over the surface of the dough, add more rosemary if desired (it needs to be oily or else the flavour won't transmit) and a sprinkle of salt on the top.
- Cover and let rest again for about 30-45 minutes. Preheat your oven halfway through, to either 350 or 400, depending on how crispy you want your focaccia.
- Once sufficiently risen, add to preheated oven and only open the oven once you smell the focaccia (it should be cooked at this point). You can lightly tap the top of the focaccia to get a feel of how cooked it is.
Cost per recipe: between 2.13$ - 3.53$ CD (We grow out own rosemary and oregano, therefore the more expensive one is if you need to purchase it) If you're feeling special, you can add ice cubes to a METAL tray or container in the oven to create steam, which is what bakeries do to create a soft bread with a crispy outside.
Remember, I like my focaccia soft like the inside of a nummy bread while Idriss likes his crispy like a pizza dough - soft = 350 and crispy = 400 degree. The cook times are about the same but greatly depend on your oven. Use your intuition and your nose to sense when the focaccia is ready. Happy cooking!
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