Focaccia bread is light, fluffy, extremely flavorful and easy to make at home. It does not require a stand mixer or even any kneading. This focaccia recipe is a foolproof way to get that light and crisp texture along with those massive pockets of air bubbles throughout.
How to know if your focaccia dough is proofing correctly
When you put your dough in the fridge, you will notice that after 6 hours, your dough will have rose a significant amount. After the entire 24 hours, your dough will have at least doubled in size.
When you take your dough out of the fridge for the second proof, you will notice your dough shrink ever so slightly as the air pockets escape while your scrape out your dough. But don’t worry because the second proof at room temperature will create more air bubbles. A big key while proofing is to always prevent air from escaping during the proofing process.
Varying fridge temperatures
Sometimes, if your fridge is really cold (4 degrees Celsius or less), you will notice that the olive oil on top of your dough will solidify at the end of your first proof. This is okay! Cold fridge temperatures allow your dough to proof slower, which adds more flavour to your dough. If you notice that your olive oil did not solidify during this process, this is perfectly normal as well and your focaccia will still turn out amazing.
Prepping focaccia for baking
You can skip this step, but I like to add some olive oil to the actual baking sheet (in between the baking sheet and the parchment paper) to prevent the parchment paper from shifting around while we stretch out the dough and dimple the bread. Personally, I think this makes a difference with prepping the baking sheet.
Alternatively, if you have a deep baking pan, you can skip this step and add the dough directly onto that pan.
So this is where you can get extremely creative. We used a classic combination of olives and rosemary. However, some other really popular toppings included roasted garlic, cherry tomatoes and I have even seen mixed berry versions so get creative!
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 450 grams lukewarm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500 grams flour (AP) or bread flour
Extra Olive Oil
- ½ cup olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, add the instant yeast, water, honey, salt, and olive oil together, in that order. Give it a good stir to ensure all your ingredients are incorporated.1 tsp instant yeast, 450 grams lukewarm water, 1 tsp honey, 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add your flour and mix until all the dry flour patches are gone.500 grams flour (AP) or bread flour
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure that there is no room for air to escape the bowl, and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Your dough should look very wet.
- Wet your hands and perform a “stretch and fold” where you grab a handful of dough from the 12 o’clock position and pull it to the 6 o’clock position and repeat from the 3 o’clock position to the 9 o’clock position. Repeat this motion twice. This helps create tension on the dough. Let this rest at room temperature for another 10 minutes.
- Repeat the "stretch and fold" once more then roll the dough over so that the folds are on the bottom of the bowl and the top is smooth. This prevents those air pockets from escaping.
- Drizzle the top of the dough with 1 tbsp of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in your fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours for best results.
- Take your dough out of the fridge and by now you will notice that your dough has at least doubled in size.
- Drizzle ¼ cup of olive oil onto your 9” x 13” baking sheet and plop your dough onto it. If you are layering with parchment paper, then drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil in-between the parchment paper and your baking sheet then add the ¼ cup of olive oil on top of the parchment paper. I like to do this to make sure the parchment paper does not move around.½ cup olive oil
- Gently drop your dough onto the parchment paper.
- Grab the sides of your dough and fold them over each other, kind of like folding a piece of paper into thirds and then gently flip the dough over so that the folds are at the bottom of the baking sheet. The idea is to create surface tension and make sure the dough is smooth on top.
- Cover the dough with a larger tray, making sure that no air can escape and leave to to proof at room temperature for 1.5 hours. Only use plastic wrap if you are using a deep over pan where the plastic wrap will not touch the dough.
- Now for the fun part – using your fingers, create the dimpling. You just want to press your fingers into the dough evenly and gently making sure not to pop any air bubbles.
- Add your toppings into the dimples. I used olives and rosemary and salt.
- Drizzle dough with 1-2 more tbsp of olive oil and bake at 430F for 18-20 minutes or until fully cooked and golden brown. Optionally brush with more olive oil at the end.
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