This Italian bread is known for its soft, pillowy texture and savory flavor. Focaccia bread is a versatile option that can be eaten on its own as a snack, used as a sandwich bread, or served as a side to a delicious pasta dish.
The key to making fluffy focaccia bread is in the dough. The dough is typically made with flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil.
The dough is then left to rise for several hours, allowing it to develop its signature texture.
Once the dough has risen, it is topped with a variety of flavorful ingredients such as rosemary, garlic, and sea salt.
The bread is then baked until golden brown, resulting in a delicious and satisfying treat.
What is Focaccia Bread
If you’re a bread lover, you may have heard of focaccia bread. Focaccia is a type of Italian bread that is similar to pizza dough, but it’s thicker and fluffier. It’s a popular bread in Italy and is often served as a side dish or as a snack.
Focaccia bread is known for its fluffy texture and crispy crust, which makes it perfect for dipping in olive oil or spreading with butter. There are many different types of focaccia bread, including sourdough focaccia.
One of the best things about focaccia bread is that it’s easy to make. You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients, and you can customize the recipe to suit your taste.
To make fluffy focaccia bread, you’ll need flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil. You can also add toppings like herbs, cheese, or vegetables to give your bread extra flavor.
Once you’ve mixed your dough, you’ll need to let it rise for a few hours before baking it in the oven.
Ingredients for Focaccia
Making fluffy focaccia bread requires a few key ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bread Flour: Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which gives the bread a chewy texture and helps it rise.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour is used in combination with bread flour to create a lighter texture in the bread.
- Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the bread and also helps to regulate the yeast.
- Quick Rise Yeast: Quick rise yeast allows the bread to rise quickly, resulting in a fluffy texture.
- Water: Water is needed to activate the yeast and to hydrate the flour.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil adds flavor to the bread and also helps to keep it moist.
- Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning adds a delicious flavor to the bread.
- Rosemary: Rosemary is a popular herb used in focaccia bread and adds a fragrant aroma and flavor to the bread.
Choosing the Right Tools
When making fluffy focaccia bread, choosing the right tools is essential to ensure that the bread turns out perfectly. Here are some tools you’ll need:
You’ll need a large mixing bowl to mix and knead the dough. The bowl should be big enough to allow the dough to rise without spilling over the edges. If you would rather use an electric mixer, you absolutely may!
Top of the Dough
The top of the dough will need to be brushed with olive oil before baking. A pastry brush is ideal for this task, but you can also use your hands.
Bottom of the Pan
To prevent the dough from sticking to the bottom of the pan, you should line it with parchment paper. This will also make cleanup easier.
You’ll need a baking pan to bake the focaccia bread. A sheet pan with a rim is ideal for this task.
A wooden spoon is ideal for mixing and kneading the dough. It won’t stick to the dough like a metal spoon would.
A sheet pan is ideal for baking the focaccia bread. It should be large enough to hold the dough without crowding.
You’ll need a tea towel to cover the dough while it rises. A clean, dry tea towel will work well. If you don’t have a tea towel, you may use plastic wrap to hold in moisture.
How to Make Focaccia
Making fluffy focaccia bread is easier than you might think. It starts with a simple dough made from flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil.
If you’ve made pizza dough before, you’ll find that focaccia dough is quite similar.
One key difference is that focaccia dough is typically a high hydration dough, which means that it has a lot of water relative to the amount of flour.
This gives the bread its characteristic light and airy texture.
- Mix Ingredients- To make the dough, start by mixing together your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, add your water and olive oil and mix until everything is well combined. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- First Rise- Once your dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise in the refrigerator for 4 hours. This will give the yeast time to work its magic and make your dough nice and fluffy.
- Second Rise- Pour 2 tablespoons of oil on a 9 x 13 cookie sheet and dump your dough on the sheet. Cover the dough in oil and allow it to rise for 4 hours in a warm place.
- Shape and Bake- When your dough has risen, it’s time to shape it. Press it out into a rectangular shape as you use your fingers to press dimples into the surface of the dough. This will help the olive oil and herbs to penetrate the bread and give it flavor. Sprinkle your seasonings over your dough and bake it.
Once you’ve mixed together your flour, yeast, salt, and water, it’s time to let the dough rise. This is when the yeast will start to activate and the dough will begin to expand.
You’ll want to cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let it sit in your refrigerator for 4 hours.
During this first rise, the dough will double in size. It’s important to not rush this process, as it will affect the texture and flavor of your bread.
Be patient and let the dough rise until it has almost doubled in size.
If you’re short on time, you can leave it to rise in a warm place so it will rise faster.
Remember, the first rise is crucial for achieving fluffy focaccia bread. Take your time and let the dough rise.
Second Rise and Toppings
Now that you have let the dough rise for the first time, it’s time for the second rise.
This is where the dough will become even fluffier and more delicious. Place the dough on an oiled pan and coat it in oil so it doesn’t dry out.
Next, place the dough in a warm spot and let it rise for another hour or until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen for the second time, it’s time to add your toppings.
You can get creative here and add whatever toppings you like.
Some popular options include caramelized onions, olives, tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
To add the toppings, gently press your fingers into the surface of the dough to create small indentations. This will help the toppings to stick to the dough. Then, drizzle some olive oil over the top and sprinkle on your desired toppings.
Bake the focaccia in a preheated oven at 425°F for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Baking and Serving
Baking the Focaccia
Now that your dough has risen, it’s time to bake your fluffy focaccia bread.
Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C) and place a rack in the center of the oven.
What to serve with Focaccia
Once your focaccia is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Cut it into squares or slices, then serve warm or at room temperature. Here are a few serving suggestions to try:
- Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping
- Toast slices and use them as a base for bruschetta toppings
- Cut into small squares and serve as an appetizer with cheese and olives
- Use slices to make a delicious sandwich with your favorite fillings
Homemade focaccia bread is a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. Enjoy!
Storing and Reheating
Once you have made your fluffy focaccia bread, you may be wondering how to store and reheat it properly. Here are some tips to help you keep your bread fresh and delicious:
- Storage: Store your focaccia bread in an airtight container or a plastic bag to keep it fresh. You can also wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: To reheat your focaccia bread, preheat your oven to 350°F. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You can also reheat it in a toaster oven or microwave. If you are using a microwave, wrap the bread in a damp paper towel and microwave it for 10-15 seconds.
- Next Day: If you have leftover focaccia bread from the previous day, you can still enjoy it by reheating it properly. Follow the reheating instructions above to bring it back to its fluffy and delicious state.
Tips and Tricks
Making fluffy focaccia bread is a simple process, but there are a few tips and tricks that can take your bread to the next level.
- Use a sourdough starter: If you want to add an extra layer of flavor to your focaccia bread, consider using a sourdough starter. This will give your bread a tangy taste and a chewy texture. You can either make your own starter or purchase one from a reputable source.
- Use a high-quality flour: The quality of your flour can make a big difference in the texture and flavor of your bread. Look for a flour that is high in protein, such as bread flour or all-purpose flour. You can also try using a 00 flour for a lighter texture.
- Add toppings: Focaccia bread is delicious on its own, but adding toppings can take it to the next level. Some popular toppings include olives, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. You can also try adding cheese or sliced vegetables for a more substantial meal.
- Let it rise: Focaccia bread needs time to rise in order to develop its fluffy texture. Make sure to give your dough enough time to rise before baking. You can also try letting it rise in the refrigerator overnight for a more complex flavor.
- Use a baking stone: For the best results, bake your focaccia bread on a baking stone. This will help to distribute heat evenly and give your bread a crispy crust. You can also try using a cast iron skillet or a baking sheet if you don’t have a baking stone.
Variations for Focaccia
If you’re looking to switch things up with your focaccia bread, there are plenty of variations to try! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Herb and Garlic Focaccia
Add some extra flavor to your bread by incorporating fresh herbs and garlic. Some great options include rosemary, thyme, and basil. Simply chop up the herbs and mix them with minced garlic and olive oil before spreading the mixture over the dough. You can also sprinkle some sea salt on top for an extra burst of flavor.
2. Tomato and Olive Focaccia
For a more savory option, try adding some sliced tomatoes and olives to your dough. This is a great way to incorporate some healthy fats into your bread, and the combination of flavors is sure to be a hit with your taste buds. You can also add some grated Parmesan cheese on top for an extra cheesy kick.
3. Sweet Focaccia
If you have a sweet tooth, you can also try making a sweet version of focaccia. Simply add some sugar and cinnamon to the dough, and top it with sliced fruit like apples or peaches. You can also drizzle some honey on top for an extra touch of sweetness.
4. Cheese Focaccia
For a cheesy twist on traditional focaccia, try adding some grated cheese to the dough. Cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan are all great options. You can also sprinkle some garlic powder on top for an extra burst of flavor.
No matter which variation you choose, focaccia bread is a delicious and versatile option that’s sure to impress.
Fluffy Focaccia Recipe
Fluffy Focaccia Bread
- 1 9×13 baking sheet
- 2 cups bread flour, may sub all purpose if needed
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, optionsal
- To make the dough, start by mixing together your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, add your water and mix until everything is well combined. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Coat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of oil on a 9 x 13 cookie sheet and dump your dough on the sheet. Cover the dough in oil and allow it to rise for 4 hours in a warm place.I like to put mine in our microwave with the light on so it's nice and warm.
- Once it's had its second rise, press it out into a rectangular shape as you use your fingers to press dimples into the surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle your seasonings over your dough and bake it in a preheated 425°F oven for 25-30 minutes.