Wednesday, 23 October 2013



Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread. The making of this recipe is spread over two days, the actual hands-on time is quite short. After you mix the dough, it rises overnight in the refrigerator, where the cold slows yeast activity dramatically. This is the secret of a truly great Focaccia. I had a lot of cherry tomatoes so I topped my Focaccia with them but I usually just sprinkle with kosher salt. I cut the bread into small squares and serve with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 


-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

2-1/2 cups cold water
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. table salt or 3-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 packet (1/4 oz.) instant yeast (also called quick-rise, rapid-rise, or fast-rising yeast)
10 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt for sprinkling

Mix the dough:

The day before baking, mix the dough and let it spend the night in the refrigerator.

Combine the flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast in the large bowl of a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment, not the dough hook).

Mix until the ingredients form a ball around the paddle, about 30 seconds. Switch paddle to the dough hook and mix on medium low for another 3 minutes. Stop the machine to scrape the dough off the hook; let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then mix on medium low for another 3 minutes, until it's relatively smooth.

Coat a bowl large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil.Hold the bowl steady with one hand. Wet the other hand in water, grasp the dough and stretch it to nearly twice its size.

Lay the stretched section back over the dough. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this stretch-and-fold technique. Do this two more times so that you have rotated the bowl a full 360 degrees and stretched and folded the dough four times. Drizzle 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over the dough and flip it over. Wrap the bowl well with plastic and refrigerate it overnight, or for at least 8 to 10 hours.

The Next Day:

Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator and start shaping the focaccia 3 hours before you intend to bake it. The dough will have nearly doubled in size. Cover a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and coat the surface with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil.

Gently slide a rubber spatula or a dough scraper under the dough and guide it out of the bowl onto the center of the pan. The dough will sink beneath its own weight, expelling some gas but retaining enough to keep an airy gluten network that will grow into nice holes.

Drizzle 2 Tbs. of the olive oil on top of the dough. Dimple the entire dough surface, working from the center to the edges. At first you might only be able to spread the dough to cover about one-half to three-quarters of the pan. Don't force the dough when it begins to resist you. Set it aside to rest for 20 minutes. The oil will prevent a crust from forming.

After letting the dough rest, drizzle another 2 Tbs. olive oil over the dough's surface and dimple again. This time, you will be able to push the dough to fill or almost fill the entire pan.

Cover the dough loosely with oiled plastic wrap, put the pan on a rack to let air circulate around it, and let the dough rise at room temperature until it's about 1-1/2 times its original size about 2-3 hours. Preheat your oven to 475°F.


Just before baking, remove the plastic wrap gently so you don’t collapse the dough and sprinkle a few pinches of sea salt or kosher salt over the dough. I gently placed cherry tomatoes on top but I often just add kosher salt and use the focaccia for dipping into balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Put the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 450°F. After 15 minutes, rotate the pan to ensure even baking. Bake for another 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool and enjoy!!
Print Recipe;Focaccia
Combine dough ingredients according to instructions and let it spend the night in refrigerator. I accidentally erased the pictures for the dough so you will have to go it alone! 

Stretch and rotate the dough 4 times.

Remember to rinse your hands in cold water so the dough does't stick to your hands.
Good stretching!!
Drizzle a little olive oil in the bowl and on the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and say good night!!

To a 13x18 baking sheet, fit with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil.

Drop dough onto parchment paper.

Spread the dough evenly around the pan with your fingers. Don't worry if you can't fit it into all the corners at first. Just let it rest and stretch it again.

Once the dough is in all the corners and it is full of dimples add a little more olive oil.

Top with oiled plastic wrap.

Let sit on the counter on a wire rack for air circulation until it is 1 1/2 times it's original size. Gently remove the plastic wrap.

Sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper. I added cherry tomatoes because I had so many. You can add herbs and spices if you wish. 

Bake in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Slice and enjoy.

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