The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Focaccia or Ciabatta

  • Pin It
jowilchek's picture
jowilchek

Focaccia or Ciabatta

What is the dirrerence between Focaccia and Ciabatta? I am not French or Italian so please forgive my lack of knowledge, but I was not raised in a big city with a lot of ethnic or artisian bakeries.  I just baked my first Focaccia (onion) and it was a big hit. Then today I see a Ciabatta formula and wonder whats the difference they both seem to be a yeast flat bread. Thanks in advance for any help and information.

Comments

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Focaccia is a flat bread typically containing flour, water, yeast, salt, and oil, formed as a flat bread, often baked in a pan (to better accommodate the soft, super wet dough), and typically dimpled on top to hold oil during the proof. Toppings are variable.


Ciabatta is made with a similar dough but without oil, often as wet as focaccia, but... not necessarily. Ciabatta is formed as loaves - not as a flat bread. It is typically so wet that it spreads and is not very tall, but it is not formed as a sheet as flocaccia is.


All that said, the doughs can be very similar (except for the oil) and either dough can be formed as a flatbread or as a loaf. In the real world you will no doubt encounter focaccia made without oil and ciabatta with, but...they are rather different. Focaccia is crunchier/crisper due to the oil. Ciabatta has a thicker, softer crumb with with bigger holes.

jowilchek's picture
jowilchek

Longhorn thanks for the explanation...it is pretty much what I thought except for the oil element.
Hey are you located in the great state of Texas (just a guess going by your name).
Thanks again
jowilchek in the state of Georgia

longhorn's picture
longhorn

You are correct...San Antonio to be more precise.


Good luck with your breads. Few will probably know the difference so you can get away with making either, either way. Probably worth commenting that it has become fashionable to make focaccia in very thick forms - up to 2 inches thick or so to use for restaurant sandwiches. That is IMO not focaccia. To me focaccia is more lke a deep dish pizza with a crust say half an inch to 3/4 inch. But...others will probably disagree.


Good Luck!


Jay

jowilchek's picture
jowilchek

This southern belle made(my first attempt) one Forcaccia (onion) and one italian seasonings for Christmas Eve appitizer and they were a big hit...the little ones loved them especially the onion. Wish I had taken pics...but theres always a next time.

Today I made my first Ciabatta using Jason's formula...wow it is a wet dough!! They just came out of oven and look like his pics...here's hoping for the same great crumb he gets. If so I will post pics later tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks to all the help and encouragement from the Fresh loaf folks I had the self-confidence to try and will keep trying to improve. These very wet doughs are a challenge!!!
Thank you all!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Glad to have helped push you over the edge. I do both ciabatta and focaccia at about 85 percent. I have gone as high as 100% on focaccia. That is interesting but 85 is probably better. 


Try a potato focaccia. Dimple the focaccia well and put plenty of oil on it. Then layer it with very thinly sliced potatoes (preferably gold rather than russets). Then sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Finely chopped shallots or onions can be good also. Bake it long enough the potatoes are getting browned and crisp. Amazing!


Keep at em!


Jay