Bread baking doesn’t have to be intimidating, we actually find the whole process of working with dough to be quite therapeutic and relaxing. This focaccia recipe requires three inactive resting stages; 2 hours, 8 hours, and 2 hours, so as long as you plan around those times, it shouldn’t be too daunting. It’s also the perfect activity for a lazy weekend at home, or a delicious easy party season staple for your next festive gathering!
Making focaccia is great as it’s a sort of blank canvas to adorn as you like. You can top it with almost anything and even if you use only salt and olive oil, it’s still so incredibly delicious. For this version, we topped the dough with sliced shallots, Sicilian green olives, oregano, nigella seeds, and red pepper flakes, but feel free to get creative with the flavors you love most. A simple tomato and basil in the summer, or butternut squash and sage in the winter months, the options are totally endless!
- 1 packet dry active yeast (1/4 ounce/7 grams)
- 3 1/4 cups warm water
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- flaky salt
- toppings of your choice
- Grab a large mixing bowl and add the yeast with the warm water. Mix to combine and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and the salt to the yeast & water mixture. Mix until it comes together.
- With oiled hands, knead the dough by using the fold over method where you keep pushing and folding the dough over itself. Continue kneading for 5-8 minutes. We recommend doing this in the mixing bowl itself, no need to transfer the dough to a floured surface as the dough will be very sticky but that’s okay.
- Drizzle the dough and the sides of the bowl generously with olive oil and toss the dough around to coat and distribute.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth, such as one of our Table Linens, and leave to proof for two hours at room temperature in a warm section of your home.
- After two hours you should see that the dough has risen — cover again and transfer to the fridge to proof again for 8 hours or overnight.
- In the morning (or once 8 hours has elapsed) — grease a baking dish generously with olive oil. Make sure to use a large baking dish so that there is enough space for the dough to rise (about 13 x 9 inches is ideal).
- Transfer the dough to the baking dish — cover again and let rest for another two hours at room temperature.
- Once the dough has completed the final proof — preheat the oven to 450F.
- With oiled hands, use your fingers to dimple the surface of the focaccia to create crevices and holes.
- Drizzle the surface generously with olive oil and season well with flaky salt. This is the point where you can also add any toppings you’d like.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown and crusty.
- Let cool before removing from the pan.
Enjoy with a selection of cheese and crudites or alongside a warmed hot soup!
Photography and recipe by Noreen Wasti