Easy Weeknight Focaccia Bread: Perfect For Dipping And Sharing

Posted on

Focaccia (pronounced fo-kah-cha) is a delightful Italian flatbread known for its golden brown crust, soft and airy interior, and generous drizzle of olive oil. This bread is incredibly versatile, perfect for dipping in soups and salads, enjoying alongside a cheese plate, or even using as a base for pizzas and sandwiches. The best part? Focaccia is surprisingly easy to make at home, requiring minimal ingredients and effort.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with everything you need to create restaurant-quality focaccia in your own kitchen. We’ll delve into the simple ingredients, provide step-by-step instructions, explore the nutritional value, and answer some frequently asked questions. So, grab your apron and get ready to bake some focaccia magic!

Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (around 105°F/40°C)
  • Directions:

    1. Prep and Activate the Yeast: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, olive oil, and yeast. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy and active.

    2. Combine and Knead the Dough: Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough feels sticky, add a bit more flour one tablespoon at a time, until manageable.

    3. First Rise: Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the dough rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

    4. Dimple the Dough: Lightly oil a baking sheet. Gently transfer the risen dough to the baking sheet and spread it out into a rough rectangle, using your fingertips to dimple the surface all over. Don’t worry about making it perfectly even!

    5. Second Rise and Drizzle: Drizzle the focaccia generously with olive oil, making sure to get some into the dimples. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let it rise for another hour, or until slightly puffed up.

    6. Bake! Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Uncover the focaccia and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty on top. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

    7. Cool and Enjoy! Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Focaccia is best enjoyed fresh, but can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for longer storage.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Calories: 240

  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on the ingredients listed. Actual values may vary depending on the specific brands used.

    Conclusion

    Focaccia bread is a delicious and versatile addition to any meal. With its simple ingredients and straightforward recipe, this Italian flatbread is perfect for beginner bakers and experienced home cooks alike. The delightful combination of a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior makes focaccia a crowd-pleaser for any occasion. So, why not give it a try today?

    5 Unique FAQs About Focaccia Bread:

    1. Can I use different types of flour for focaccia?

    Yes! While all-purpose flour is the traditional choice, you can experiment with whole wheat flour, bread flour, or even a combination for a slightly different texture and flavor profile. Just keep in mind that the rise time and final texture may vary slightly depending on the flour used.

    2. What are some ways to customize my focaccia?