Focaccia bread is a popular Italian bread typically topped with olive oil, salt, herbs and sometimes olives. I love eating focaccia sandwiches and since I’m not in Italy, it is quite difficult to find shops or bakeries that sell focaccia bread. I now mostly make my own focaccia bread recipe when I’m craving a nice sandwich for lunch.
I used to work for an Italian company and did a bit of travel over to Rome and back for 2 years so I really got to try some really awesome food on my travels. This was when I was introduced to focaccia, I may have had it before back home but it never struck me enough to stand out. One of my favourite lunch spots in Rome was a small little cafe style shop that did focaccia bread sandwiches. These lovely sandwiches were topped with olive oil, olives, sun dried tomatoes, parma ham and smoked cheese. I’d often eat there for lunch every day I was working!
It took me a while to find a focaccia bread recipe that produced consistent results for me, sometimes, the dough wouldn’t raise and it would come out of the oven flat and tasteless. I’ve finally found a technique and ingredients that work really well for me which I’ll share below.
I normally make lovely sandwiches with the focaccia and with the recipe below, there’s plenty to share or set aside to have the next day. The ingredients below is enough to make 6 good sized sandwiches. For the focaccia sandwich topping, I normally use a combination of any of the following tomatoes, olives, spinach, parma ham, pesto and mozzarella ball. I also make my own pesto from time to time and you can find the recipe for it here. It takes literally 2 minutes to make and is delicious! I highly recommend you try making your own basil pesto!
Here is my focaccia bread recipe.
- 500 grams of strong white flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt. You’ll need more for sprinkling on the bread before baking
- 14 grams of dried yeast (2 sachets)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for dressing the bread with
- 400 mill of lukewarm water
- Add the sachets of dried yeast to the water and and stir well, this will help activate the yeast
- Add the salt and flour into a bowl and mix well. I use a food mixer so I just pulse it for a few seconds
- Add the water mixture to the flour and using a stand mixer, mix with a dough hook to combine the ingredients
- Let the machine work for at least 6 or 7 minutes on a slow to medium setting
- Meanwhile, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
- Pour some olive oil onto the paper and spread it so it covers the sheet
- Once your dough has the right texture, it should be silky smooth and not sticky. Put it onto a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand for a minute
- Place it onto your baking tray and using a rolling pin or your hands, stretch out the dough mixture. Try to get it into the four corners, but don’t worry if it keeps retracting
- Cover the dough with cling film and place into a warm place for at least an hour to rise (do not be alarmed if it doesn’t rise drastically like a traditional loaf)
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees
- After the hour, using your hands, stretch out the bread into the four corners of the baking tray
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. You can also top the bread with olives or herbs at this stage also
- Put them into the oven for 20 minutes or until the outside starts to brown
- Take it out of the oven when ready and sprinkle some more olive oil, salt and herbs and leave it to rest on a wire rack