The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

focaccia texture?

scribble's picture

focaccia texture?

I made my first attempt at focaccia bread tonight.  It was a fairly short and quick recipe. I can't remember the last time I had this type of bread that I purchased so I am not sure what it was like but mine came out with a very light though dry crust to it and no real flavor.

Did i possible bake too long to get to hard a crust?

LindyD's picture

Hi Scribble.  Welcome to TFL.

Your focaccia was flavorless because, as  you stated, "it was a fairly short and quick recipe."    Fast breads are never good breads.

Here's a recipe that will give you a much better outcome:

Let us know how it goes.

scribble's picture

The recipe you linked looks good. I am still new so I am not sure what I am doing yet. The poolish do I make that a certain consistancy when making and when letting it sit for 16-18 hours is that sealed or just plastic wrap it?

The 2nd question I have is does the water in both parts need to be warm (105-110)?

So after I have the poolish and final dough combined how long do I let that set before I do my first fold?

grind's picture

Make the poolish in a bowl and cover it with some saran of just slip the bowl into a plastic bag and tuck the opening under the bowl.  Make sure the bowl is large enough because it will expand quite a bit.  Make your first fold 30 minutes after the dough is mixed.  Do it three times in total, every 30 minutes.  An extra fold won't kill it.

The recipe states 75 degrees throughout the process.  Good luck, have fun!


Colin2's picture

The poolish can just be roughly mixed with a spoon -- until all the flour is wet.

Don't worry about water temperature as long as it's not hot.  If you start with cold water the dough will just take a little bit longer.  Same with the main dough.  My house is at less than 75F, so rising will take a little longer.  As you gain experience you'll get a sense of what the dough should look and feel like.  The video in LindyD's link may also be helpful there.  

LindyD's picture

Hopefully you have a scale, Scribble.  If not, one of the comments following the recipe lists a link where you can convert the measurements given.

The consistency of the poolish is set by the formula given - equal amounts of flour and water, or 100% hydration.    You would mix that first, then cover it (plastic film is fine) and leave it in a warm (75F) spot for 16-18 hours.  

The temperature of the water is calculated through a number of factors.  For now, use warm water.  For later reading, here's a link explaining DDT (desired dough temperature):

I think you'll be fine allowing the dough to sit for 30 minutes after you've mixed it, then starting the first of the three folds.   Just keep in mind that it's a wet and sticky dough, so keep your hands wet or oiled.

Best wishes.


scribble's picture

I was able to squease this bread in between last night and this evening. I had a problem were I think it was a little too wet (sticky) compared to the video but I kept right on ticking.  I had a very hard time trying to fold it due to the dexture so maybe got 1-1/2 folds in before I just went for the final raise. I added a good amount of black and green olives in along with some fresh grated parmesan cheese for some additional flavor.  I drizzled some Olive oil with italion seasonings mixed in on the dough and baked at the listed temp. I only baking it for about 22 min as the crust seemed like it was getting very firm.  I know next time I need to oil/grease my pan better as I had to work very hard to get it out of the pan. 

It does taste allot better than my first try and maybe should have left it in a few min more but will work on that for the next one.  I think if I could get this recipe to just a little more workable consistancy I might try and make a pull apart bread. The local grocery sells "chopping block bread". It is really just a pull apart with whatever they said the through in it.  My favorite is the parmesan and olive version.  I just not sure how this will come out if I try and lessen the hydration more.

Foody8's picture

Made foccacia as my first bread. Allowed dough to rise enough too but the bread was more of a biscuit, it didnot rise very well. Where i went wrong ? Help me. really demotivated as of now :(