The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Authentic Focaccia Recipe

ohc5e's picture
ohc5e

Authentic Focaccia Recipe

I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of a great focaccia recipe. I like to think of myself as a pretty competent baker but every time I make one I am disappointed one way or another.  I lived in Florence for six months and was spoiled with focaccia that had a crunchy, oily, almost orange colored crust with a chewy, open crumb.  When I make one at home it usually comes out with a dry, dense crumb and uniform, small holes.  Does anyone have a recipe that comes close to that description or is this a pipe dream? I have a sourdough starter, maybe I will try a recipe using it this weekend to see if that makes a difference. Thanks...

manuela's picture
manuela

I have found is the recipe by Hamelman in his book "Bread".

I grew up in Italy and his focaccia is really very very close to the ones I remember having there from the bakeries; even if it is impossible to perfectly replicate their results in our home ovens, Hamelman's gets really close to the authentic ones. His recipe has been my favorite for a long time

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

There's a recipe in an old Cook's Illustrated that I use; it makes super focaccia.  I'll have to look for it, but when I find it, I'll post it here for you.

RFMonaco's picture
RFMonaco

Cooks Illustrated Focaccia


1-1/3 cup cooked grated potato
1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil (for the dough, more for greasing the pan and adding to the top of the dough)
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

First you take one large potato and nuke it until it is tender. I’ll be honest - I have not tested the difference between a white and a russet. I’ve used both.

Once it is tender you have to let it cool down. Warm, room temperature, or cold – it doesn’t seem to matter.

Peel off the skin and grate the potato. You need about 1-1/3 cups of grated potato.
Then, make a starter with 1-1/2 teaspoons of yeast, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water. Warm water, in the world of bread making, means between 105F and 115F.

Mix those together with a fork or whisk in the bowl you are going to use to mix up the dough. Then cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. It will foam and rise a bit.

After 20 minutes add: 1/2 cup warm water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the grated potato and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (thereabouts).

Then it’s time to add the flour. When it comes to making bread I rarely dump in all the flour at once. This recipe calls for 3-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. I have never tried it with bread flour so don’t know if that would change the taste or texture. I’ve never used anything but all-purpose.

I prefer to mix the dough in my standing mixer with the dough hook. You can mix it with a wooden spoon, too. It just requires more muscle.

You’ve already used 1/2 cup of that flour in the starter so dump in 2 to 2-1/2 cups of flour and mix it together. Keep adding flour until it isn’t sticky. If you are using a mixer keep adding the flour until it hangs in a cohesive hunk and doesn’t ooze off the hook.

If you are kneading it by hand you should transfer it to a lightly floured counter once the ingredients are mixed together. Then knead it and knead it and knead it some more. It needs to be smooth and elastic.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil into a clean bowl and then add the dough. Toss it to coat the dough. Cover it with a towel and put it someplace warm to rise. It’s supposed to double in size.

I usually preheat the oven to warm and then put the covered bowl into the oven and turn it off. Especially in the winter, it’s hard to find a warm spot in my house.

Don’t try and rush this recipe. It needs plenty of rise time.

Once it rises to double its size, spread it out on a cookie sheet greased with olive oil. Or you can use a Silpat, a nonstick reusable pan liner, without the oil.
Then brush olive oil over the top, sprinkle with kosher salt and some crushed rosemary, fresh or dried, if you like.

At this stage, it’s good to let it rise for as long as you can. The puffier it gets the more tender it bakes up. I usually let it rise on top of the oven and rotate the tray after a half hour or so.

After it is to the height that you want, or you can’t wait any longer, pre-heat the over to 425F. Bake the focaccia until it is golden brown (about 25 minutes in my oven).

Let it cool enough so that you don’t burn your mouth when you eat it. Then enjoy.

I’ve seen recipes that use focaccia in place of sandwich bread and I guess you can use this or even top it with bruschetta.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi, your recipe sounds really good, but could you please confirm the correct amount of yeast? Do you use instant yeast? I'd love to give this a try, A.

RFMonaco's picture
RFMonaco

I never made this recipe...yet. I found it on the web as written. I would suspect that Cook's Illustrated used active yeast in the amount stated, thoughI will be making it shortly .

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

It's absolutely the best focaccia I've ever made, and I vary the toppings depending on what fresh herbs I have on hand; chives, tarragon, basil, etc.  It's been too long since I've made this!

anneelliot's picture
anneelliot

This foccacia recipe was extremely successful. Like the other comment I wonder if anyone wold speculate on the correct amount of baking powder, as i cannot remember what I did the first time. 1/2 teaspoon seems very little. Perhaps I need to experiemnet but someone else's opinion would be appreciated.

Szerlip1EA's picture
Szerlip1EA

Just finished making four of them for New Year's party!  These come out great!  The yeast is 1 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast.

novice_baker's picture
novice_baker

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made my first Focaccia this Father's day for my husband and father-in-law and it turned out fantastic (if I may say). Like you suggested I used it to make sandwiches. I made some red pepper mayo and some store bought chicken patties (Trader Joe's) along with some baby spinach I had on hand and American cheese made for a perfect Father's day lunch. I will surely be trying to experiment with the toppings!

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Yes, that's the recipe.  I got the Baking book, ATK, out of the library last night and was going to post the recipe today, but you beat me to it.  No matter, it's still the best focaccia I've ever tasted.  Do you dimple the dough?

bwraith's picture
bwraith

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5025/two-sourdough-focaccias-raisin-and-savory

The link above is for a focaccia recipe I like to do. I don't know if it's the style you are looking for, but the crust and crumb are at least similar to what you describe. If you don't want to do it with sourdough, you could change the levain to a poolish by using all the flour and water in the storage starter and the levain along with about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of yeast, let it rise and peak, then refrigerate it if necessary until you want to use it, and get a yeasted version of the recipe. The yeasted version will probably have a slightly softer, less chewy, lighter crumb than my sourdough/yeast hybrid version.

Bill

lezionidistile's picture
lezionidistile

Hi there, I've got the actual recipe for the "focaccia genovese".. I don't know if this is any similar to the one you used to eat in Firenze, but la focaccia genovese is the best focaccia you can possibily eat. ;)

I'm going to use grams and since I'm italian and the recipe is italian, the recipe mentions the "lievito di birra" (beer yeast?).. you can probably convert it to the kind of yeast you use in your country or even make a sourdough version of it. So, here we go:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Kg "00" flour
  • Kg 0,550 of water (impasto morbido) (55%)
  • 60 gr extravergine olive oil (totale 6%) (you are supposed to use olive oil from liguria.. but if you are missing that you should be using a mild and fruity extravergine olive oil.. it doesn't have to be STRONG at all)
  • 35 gr of yeast
  • 20 gr of seasalt
  • 10 gr of malt extract (optional)

 This is just the ingredient list.. they only tell you the rising is supposed to take 10/12 hours at 24°C. But this is how I execute the recipe:

 

  1. Dissolve the yeast in a bit of warm water and add a bit of flour plus the oil (this is supposed to be a quick poolish) and let it rest in a warm place for 20 minutes
  2. Mix this "quick poolish" with 3/4 of the flour and the remaining water
  3. Add the rest of the flour and the salt
  4. Let it rise for 3 or 4 hours at 24°C
  5. Put some oil in a ... those metal squareish things you put in your oven? :)
  6. Place the "dough" on the metal squareish thing, cover your hands/fingers with either water or oil and gently stretch the "dough" untill it is evenly covering the metal squareish thing
  7. Let it rise at 24°C for some more time (it doesn't matter much in a domestic enviornment.. 2 to 4 hours maybe?)
  8. Heat the oven at 220°C
  9. Prepare an emulsion of water and oil (50% in volume or 30% water 70% oil.. just don't exceed with the water)
  10. Now you have to put some oil on your fingers again and stick them in the dough, you should now move your fingers with a circular motion (to enlarge the "holes") and you should repeat it all over the dough. The focaccia is supposed to look like the moon surface or something :)
  11. Now pour the emulsion onto the focaccia and cover it evenl, expecially the "holes" you created. Add some seasalt on the top
  12. Let it rest for 30/40 mins at 24°C and bake it at 220°C untill it has the colour that fits your taste :)
Let it warm down and enjoy! The resulting product is supposed to be not higher than 2cm (less than 1 inch), very oily and very yummy :)

 

lezionidistile's picture
lezionidistile

Ooops, there's some unwanted italian in the recipe.. "impasto morbido" means soft dough.. and just ignore the percents in the ingredient list.. it is the percent in weight compared to the flour :)

loretta's picture
loretta

Ciao!

Why don't you take a look at this bolg:

http://profumodilievito.blogspot.com/2008/05/la-focaccia-croccante.html

There are many recipes of "focaccia", maybe something it's what you are looking for.

(sorry... in italian)

bigdaddy's picture
bigdaddy

loretta

OUTSTANDING looking focaccia...problem is I can't read italian...Could you possibly translate the recipe??  I  would really like to try it.  If you didn't want to post it, you could email it to me    whitemanfarms@sbcglobal.net   Thank you very much...

Sincerely,

bigddaddy

loretta's picture
loretta

I Bigdaddy, use this translator.. it give you a good idea of the recipe

http://www.lexicool.com/translate.asp

If you need some help I can try to give you more explanations. That Focaccia it's a crispy one.

Ciao

Loretta

Little Alex's picture
Little Alex

This one is not meant to be dimpled, but simply shaped into a small boule for the final rise and stretched out into a fairly long band that goes straight onto the oven stone. The outside is golden and crispy, the inside looks a bit like a ciabatta, moist and open. The fact that it's made on a stone give it a really tasty crunchy bottom.

Sometimes I even make a kind of a pizza out of it and it looks beautiful! I mix in a bowl, crushed tomatoes, chopped basil and parmesan and season with a dash of good olive oil and maybe a little salt if the parmesan isn't too salty. I carefully pull the oven stone out (for ease) and "glue" the band of dough to the hot stone. Spread a line of the previous mixture at the center of the dough and voila!

This recipe is in grams.

 

Stone Oven Focaccia 

1 Kg of all purpose flour

65 g of sugar

10 g of instant yeast

20 g of salt

650 to 700 ml of water (this is a high humidity dough, so fear not! It just should not be too runny though, so add a little flour or a little less water to adjust)

 

Put everything together and work with dough hook on speed 1 for 15 min.

Cover and let rise for about 45 min (or until doubled)

Pull down and let rise again for 30 minutes.

Pull down again and let rise for 15 minutes.

(this was made in restaurant conditions, so I'd say the room temperature was about 25 degrees celcius, so timings might be different for a cold day... so just leave the dough any place that's slightly warm (I put it on top of my fridge on colder days).

Now the dough is half ready, so it's time to divide it in 300g portions, roll into balls and put on a plate with a greased cooking sheet. With your hand, oil each boule a bit, so they won't stick together on the last rise. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Heat the oven with the stone at around 225 to 250 degrees celcius.

Take a boule of dough, stretch it with both hands to a 35 cm band, carefully, not to tear it, lay it on the hot stone (it will stick, but will come out easily after).

This takes about 5 minutes to cook. It should be nice and golden brown. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with "fleur de sel".

This is meant to be served imediately and depending on the size of your stone, you can put as many as you want in the oven.

I hope this comes in any way close to that foccacia you are so looking for!

Good luck in your quest!

 

ps: I supose this can also be used as regular dimpled focaccia, but I've yet to try that...

 

SteveB's picture
SteveB

I might as well add another one to the mix:

http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=96

SteveB

www.breadcetera.com

goody1006's picture
goody1006

Hi--


Growing up, I had a wonderful Italian family next door to me.  I absolutly loved the focaccia she always made--in fact, it became sort of a joke between families, and when I left home for the military, any time I came home on leave, Madaline would send over a plate of fresh, still warm focaccia, to welcome me home!


she gave me her recipe a couple of times over the years, but between moves, kids, relationships, I've no idea what became of them.


A MAJOR difference in how she did hers, and ANY recipes I've seen in text, online, etc.. is she DEEP FRIED hers--not baked!


Anyone else do this, or heard of this way?  Could it be a regional thing?


Thanks,


goody


 


 


 


 

Szerlip1EA's picture
Szerlip1EA

We always called the deep fried focaccia or pizza dough a "zeppole".  Same dough, just different cooking method.

goody1006's picture
goody1006

Thanks for shedding the light on it for me!


I'm thinking a batch of focaccia/zeppole is what I'll going to try today or tomorrow.


 


goody

artisanbreadman's picture
artisanbreadman

I alway use a 2 day old biga starter for my focaccia


And yes I find my favorite is sundried tomato and basil


Once I add the baga and go through the mixing process the I let my dough sit 2 hours the chill for 24 hours then bake

magicalfryingpan's picture
magicalfryingpan

After checking out some of the focaccia here, the one in italian is great.


Im a professional cook, and my first chef, who was from puglia, made focaccia daily. No preferment of any kind. And it was the most delicious I had ever had.


70% hydrated dough


7.5# bread flour


10.5C warm H2O


small handful instant yeast


Mix everything together until medium gluten development.


Bulk 1,5 hours. Divide, put into pre oiled and salted sheet trays.


Cover and let rise another 1,5 hours, or until doubled.


Bake at 450 for 20m rotating halfway thru.


Remove from pan when you take it out of the oven to cool - DO NOT COOL in the pan!


Enjoy :D


 

CJean's picture
CJean

Does anyone have a simple Focaccia Recipe out there? I have lost mine and I am distressed!!! I found it on TFL but it is now where to be found now. :(

 

jcking's picture
jcking

Same as pizza dough.

Jim

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

A few simple focaccia recipes:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20992/help-i-dropped-my-dough-floor-need-quick-recipe

The last one is really simple, and there is a youtube video of Chef Anne making it. Looks real good too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed6qDJHmamw