Focaccia Recipes

These are from the LA Times, they had a section on Foccacia breads. I'm putting two different recipes on this page, the first one is really long because it has three different versions after the basic dough instructions.

Focaccia Recipe 1

This first version starts with the basic bread dough recipe, and is then followed by three Focaccia breads that can be made from it.

Basic Dough Recipe

Focaccia Sponge
Ingredients
Scant 1/8 packed teaspoon cake yeast or 1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast
Scant 1/2 cup (3.71 ounces) water
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3.04 ounces) bread flour

Focaccia Dough
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (11.04 ounces) water
1/2 cup plus scant 1 tablespoon (.39 ounce) olive oil, divided
Focaccia sponge
2 packed tablespoons plus 1/4 packed teaspoon (.39 ounce) fresh cake yeast or 1 3/4 teaspoons (.195 ounce) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon (.56 ounce) rye flour
3 1/3 to 3 2/3 cups (15 to 16.45 ounces) bread flour, more if needed
1 tablespoon (.39 ounce) kosher salt

Focaccia Sponge Instructions

1. In a small mixing bowl (preferably plastic or ceramic), sprinkle the yeast over the water. Set the bowl aside for a few minutes to give the water time to absorb the yeast. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the bread flour until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

2. Cover the bowl tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap, then tightly wrap another piece of plastic wrap or twine around the perimeter of the bowl to further seal the bowl.

3. Set the bowl aside at room temperature (ideally 68 to 70 degrees) until the sponge becomes bubbly and thick, like the consistency of wallpaper paste (thicker than a pancake batter but thinner than dough), 12 to 24 hours.

Focaccia Dough Instructions

1. About 3 1/2 hours before you are ready to bake the focaccia, place the water, scant tablespoon olive oil and sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and, over low speed, add the yeast, rye flour and 15 ounces (3 1/3 cups) bread flour. Mix the ingredients over low speed for 2 minutes to thoroughly combine and form the dough.

2. With the mixer running, slowly add the salt, then increase the speed to medium. Continue mixing the dough until it is smooth and well-formed, and starts to pull away from the bowl, 6 to 8 minutes. Note that the dough will not pull so much that it "cleans" the bowl, but if the dough is too sticky and is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl at all, add a little more bread flour (a spoonful as needed at a time) to achieve the right consistency.

3. While the dough is mixing, lightly grease a bowl large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size with olive oil. When the dough is ready, turn it out of the mixer into the oiled bowl. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and tightly wrap the perimeter of the bowl with kitchen twine or another piece of plastic wrap to further seal the bowl. Set the dough aside at room temperature (ideally 68 to 70 degrees) until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

4. Dust the work surface lightly with flour and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Acting as if the round has four sides, fold the edges of the dough toward the center. Turn the dough over and return it, folded side down, to the bowl. Cover the bowl again with plastic wrap and set it aside at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, 50 minutes to 1 hour. (The dough will be puffy and will feel alive, springy and resistant. It will not collapse under the touch of your fingertips.)

5. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into each of two 10 inch by 2 inch cake pans, and tilt the pans so the oil coats the bottom evenly. Dust the work surface again lightly with flour and carefully turn the dough out onto the floured surface, taking care not to deflate the dough in the process. Divide the dough into two equal segments, each weighing approximately 18 ounces. Place the dough segments in the prepared cake pans and very gently pull the edges just to obtain a roughly round shape. Cover the pans with a clean dishcloth and set aside at room temperature until relaxed and spread to cover about half of the surface of the pans, about 30 minutes.

Olive and Rosemary Focaccia

Ingredients

1 risen focaccia dough
2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, cut into generous 1/2-inch cubes
40 pitted Ascolana olives (or another large pitted green olive)
Olive oil for brushing
20 tufts fresh rosemary
Scant 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt, or another large flake sea salt

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the dishcloth from the top of one of the focaccias and, using your fingertips, gently tap down on the focaccia with about 5 light strokes to nudge it toward the edge of the pan; it still might not reach the edges, but don't worry.

2. One at a time, push the mozzarella cubes into the focaccia dough while simultaneously pushing outward to encourage the dough toward the edge of the pan, arranging the cubes evenly over the surface of the dough and pressing them so deep they are almost flush with its surface.

3. Do the same with the olives, arranging them in circular rows between the cheese cubes and pressing them down into the dough and slightly outward.

4. Brush the surface generously with olive oil, then press the rosemary tufts into the dough. Sprinkle over the sea salt. Set the focaccia aside until it is risen and puffed around the toppings, about 30 minutes.

5. Place the focaccia on the center rack of the oven and bake until crisp and golden-brown, 30 to 40 minutes. The focaccia should have risen almost to the top of the pan, and the cheese will be crisp and browned.

6. Move the pan to the bottom of the oven and continue to bake until the bottom crust of the focaccia is deep golden and crisp to the touch, about 5 minutes more.

7. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the focaccia from the pan to a wire rack (use a fork to gently lift and slide the focaccia out of the pan, careful of any hot oil that may still be at the bottom of the pan). Brush the surface of the focaccia once more with olive oil. Set the focaccia aside to cool slightly -- or as long as you can resist it.

8. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board. Halve the focaccia using a long knife, then cut one-half into 4 wedges (don't cut the other half until you are ready to eat it).

Roasted Pepper and Chile Focaccia

Ingredients

6 Fresno chiles (red jalapenos), stemmed, seeded and sliced into 1/8-inch lengthwise strips
1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
15 sweet baby bell peppers, stemmed, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 risen focaccia dough
2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, cut into generous 1/2-inch cubes
10 small cherry tomatoes, such as Sweet 100s
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Scant 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt, or another large flake sea salt

Instructions

1. Roast the chiles and peppers: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sliced chiles on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle over 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle over a pinch of kosher salt and toss to coat the chiles with oil and seasoning. Roast the chiles until slightly wilted, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove and cool the chiles. Decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees to roast the peppers.

2. To roast the peppers, place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with one-fourth teaspoon kosher salt. Roast the peppers, turning them occasionally, until their skins are wrinkled and slightly charred in places, about 30 minutes. Remove and cool the peppers to room temperature. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

3. Remove the dishcloth from the top of one of the focaccias and, using your fingertips, gently tap down on the focaccia with about 5 light strokes to nudge it toward the edge of the pan; it still might not reach the edges, but don't worry.

4. One at a time, push the mozzarella cubes into the focaccia dough while simultaneously pushing outward to encourage the dough toward the edge of the pan, arranging the cubes evenly over the surface of the dough and pressing them so deep they are almost flush with its surface. Do the same with the tomatoes.

5. Sprinkle over the thinly sliced chiles, using your palms to gently pat them flush with the top of the dough, over the other toppings.

6. Arrange the peppers: Place 1 to 3 peppers on the surface of the dough, arranging them in a rough circle approximately 3 inches in diameter, overlapping slightly if needed. Using the tips of your fingers, gently press the peppers into the dough, rotating your hand clockwise (or counterclockwise) to form the peppers into a loose flower or rosette shape. Be sure not to press the peppers too far to the bottom of the pan. Repeat, alternating the pepper colors, to form approximately 8 rounds over the surface of the dough.

7. Sprinkle over the thyme and sea salt. Set the focaccia aside until it has risen and puffed around the toppings, about 30 minutes.

8. Place the focaccia on the center rack of the 450-degree oven and bake until crisp and golden-brown, 30 to 40 minutes. The focaccia should have risen almost to the top of the pan, the peppers will be charred and the cheese will be crisp and browned.

9. Move the pan to the bottom of the oven and continue to bake until the bottom crust of the focaccia is deep golden and crisp to the touch, about 5 minutes more.

10. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the focaccia from the pan to a wire rack (use a fork to gently lift and slide the focaccia out of the pan, careful of any hot oil that may still be at the bottom of the pan). Brush the surface of the focaccia once more with olive oil. Set the focaccia aside to cool slightly -- or as long as you can resist it.

11. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board. Halve the focaccia using a long knife, then cut one-half into 4 wedges (don't cut the other half until you are ready to eat it).

Onion and Sage Focaccia

Ingredients

1 risen focaccia dough
2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, cut into generous 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 large cubed Spanish onion, from a whole onion halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes (each cube will have several layers of onion)
Olive oil for brushing 1/3 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped sage leaves (about 30 chopped leaves)
Scant 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt, or another large flake sea salt

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the dishcloth from the top of one of the focaccias and, using your fingertips, gently tap down on the focaccia with about 5 light strokes to nudge it toward the edge of the pan; it still might not reach the edges, but don't worry.

2. One at a time, push the mozzarella cubes into the focaccia dough while simultaneously pushing outward to encourage the dough toward the edge of the pan, arranging the cubes evenly over the surface of the dough and pressing them so deep they are almost flush with its surface.

3. Keeping the onions in a chunk of layers, arrange the cubes in the dough with the cheese, pressing them down into the dough and slightly outward. At this point, the dough should be touching the edge of the pan.

4. Brush the surface generously with olive oil, then sprinkle over the sage and sea salt. Set the focaccia aside until it has risen and puffed around the toppings, about 30 minutes.

5. Place the focaccia on the center rack of the oven and bake until crisp and golden-brown, 30 to 40 minutes. The focaccia should have risen almost to the top of the pan, and the cheese will be crisp and browned.

6. Move the pan to the bottom of the oven and continue to bake until the bottom crust of the focaccia is deep golden and crisp to the touch, about 5 minutes more.

7. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the focaccia from the pan to a wire rack (use a fork to gently lift and slide the focaccia out of the pan, careful of any hot oil that may still be at the bottom of the pan). Brush the surface of the focaccia once more with olive oil. Set the focaccia aside to cool slightly -- or as long as you can resist it.

8. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board. Halve the focaccia using a long knife, then cut one-half into 4 wedges (don't cut the other half until you are ready to eat it).

Focaccia Recipe 2

This second recipe is an Onion / Basil oil. I was a little concerned that the photo didn't show big air bubbles in the finished product, but that's probably not significant.

Biga
Ingredients
1 pint water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ of a (1/4-ounce) package active-dry yeast
¾ pound (a generous
2 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour

Basil Oil
Ingredients
2/3 cup tightly packed basil, leaves only
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil

Focaccia
Ingredients
1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 ½ teaspoons) envelope active-dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
Prepared biga
4 cups (17 ounces) all-purpose flour, divided, more as needed
4 cups (18 ounces) bread flour, divided, more as needed
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pans
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Cornmeal, for dusting the pans
½ red onion, cut into thin, half-moon slices
About 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Biga Instructions

1. In a large, deep bowl or deep container (large enough to allow the dough to double or triple in size), whisk together the water, sugar and yeast. Whisk in the flour to form the biga, or starter dough; this will be a thin, sticky dough similar to wet cement. Cover the container and refrigerate for 3 days.

Basil Oil Instructions

1. The day you plan to finish the focaccia, make the basil oil. In a blender, combine the basil, cheese and oil, and purée. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Focaccia Instructions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Set aside until the yeast begins to bubble, or bloom, about 10 minutes.

2. Beat in the biga, then begin adding the all-purpose and bread flours, beating until incorporated to form a dough. Before adding the last cup of each flour, beat in the oil and salt. Add the rest of the flour, mixing until the dough is smooth and somewhat sticky. Remove the dough to a well-floured board and gently knead until the dough feels soft and smooth.

3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place until the dough is risen and almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

5. Coat each of two (12-inch by 2-inch) cake pans generously with about 4 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle the bottom of each pan with a light coating of cornmeal.

6. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a round. Place each round in a pan, gently stretching the dough to fit the diameter of the pan. If it springs back, give the dough a few minutes to relax, then stretch again.

7. Generously coat the top of each focaccia with a layer of basil oil, making sure the entire top is covered. Making a claw shape with your hands, press your fingertips into the dough, forming deep dimples in the dough and allowing the basil oil to penetrate into the holes. Set the focaccia dough aside until puffed and almost doubled in height, 20 to 40 minutes (rising timing will vary depending on the temperature of the room).

8. Coat the onion slices with the remaining basil oil (this will keep them from burning as they bake). Shake off the excess oil and sprinkle half of the slices over the risen dough, then sprinkle over ½ of the Parmesan cheese over the dough. Repeat with the second pan of dough.

9. Place one pan in the oven and bake until the focaccia is crisp and a rich golden-brown, and the cheese is toasted and onions are dark and crisp, 25 to 35 minutes. Check the focaccia occasionally as it bakes, checking to make sure it does not rise up over the sides of the pan and that no oil spills over. Rotate the bread about halfway through baking for even coloring.

10. Remove the pan to cool slightly on a wire rack, and bake the second focaccia. When cool enough to handle, remove the focaccia from the pan. The bread is best eaten within 12 hours. Store at room temperature. Warm, as desired, on a baking sheet in a warm oven.