Focaccia, Lord Jesus… it is the best bread to come from that beautiful little boot in Europe. Soft, pillowy, and salty with extra olive oil…it’s all the yum you have ever wanted and you can make it yourself at home with my authentic Italian Focaccia bread recipe.
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Authentic Italian Focaccia Bread Recipe
Let’s start with the elephant in the room…I said “authentic”. And I really mean that. I spent many food loving years living in Italy, chewing on Focaccia and I’ve been chasing this recipe ever since. I have made Focaccia a solid 40 or more times before arriving at a really solid, really authentic recipe (this recipe) that tastes the MOST authentic to me.
When I lived in Italy, my favorite way to eat Focaccia was these beautiful and utterly delicious sandwiches the local Trattoria and the lunchroom in my school would make by cutting the Focaccia in half and filling with prosciutto and cheese or any number of delicious Italian meats and cheeses. I could live on those sandwiches at this point.
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR MAKING AUTHENTIC ITALIAN FOCACCIA BREAD:
- You can allow it to rise more than one hour on each rising time if you are busy. I often go two hours on the first rise.
- I often rise bread on the back porch in summer because the A/C in the house is too cold. In the winter, I do the first rise in the Instant Pot on the yogurt setting (always). Another option is to turn the light on in your oven and place the bread in the middle on the rack. The light will emit a little heat (perfect for the second rise if its cold outside or in your house (below 78 degrees).
- This will be a delicate dough after the second rise. In order to not deflate it, be really careful when brushing with the olive oil/water mixture. Sprinkle the salt from a short distance, I have had it deflate in sections because of sprinkling salt from too high. When you are making the dimples, push slowly and carefully.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE AUTHENTIC ITALIAN FOCACCIA
- Bread Flour: You must use bread flour and not all purpose flour.
- Diastatic Malt: This helps feed the yeast and improves the texture of the bread. I order Malt here.
- Sugar: Further feeds the yeast and improves the flavor.
- Yeast: I have used both Instant and Active Dry Yeast and both work fine.
- Olive Oil + Water: This is brushed on the top of the Focaccia before baking. It gives the crust a beautiful color as well as the slightest flakiness and chew.
- Sea Salt: Large flake sea salt is sprinkled on top and adds to the salty chewy amazing-ness.
HOW TO MAKE PILLOWY SOFT ITALIAN FOCACCIA & A LITTLE BIT OF PRETTY FOCACCIA ART
- Start by combining the flour, malt, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl (I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer fitted with a dough hook).
- Add one cup of warm water (110°- 115°).
- Knead for 10 minutes, it might be shaggy, that’s okay. Do not add more flour.
- Turn it out into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for at least one hour.
- Punch down the dough, and carefully scrape it out of the bowl.
- Spread it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet (9″x13″) and rub the surface with a little olive oil.
- Allow to rise for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Gently brush with olive oil + water mixture, and carefully sprinkle with sea salt.
- Carefully use your fingers to push down in the dough (creating dimples) until you reach the bottom of the pan.
- Bake 15 minutes.
I did this Focaccia art just for fun. Next time I will figure out how not to burn the herbs. Also, I am obsessing over how many ways I can decorate my authentic Italian Focaccia bread. I make this at least three times a week, so there are plenty of opportunities.
FOCACCIA GOES GREAT WITH:
- Every single thing on planet earth +
- Instant Pot Panera Creamy Tomato Soup
- Instant Pot Panera 10 Vegetable Soup (Vegan)
- Magic Bullet Marinara Sauce
- Oven Roasted Garlic
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2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp diastatic malt
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Instant yeast
1 cup warm water (110°-115°)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp large flake sea salt
- Combine dry ingredients: Start by combining the flour, malt, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl (I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer fitted with a dough hook).
- Add water: Add one cup of warm water (110°- 115°).
- Knead: Knead for 10 minutes, it might be shaggy, that’s okay. Do not add more flour.
- 1st Rise: Turn it out into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for at least one hour.
- Remove from bowl: Punch down the dough, and carefully scrape it out of the bowl.
- Form to pan: Spread it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet (9″x13″) and rub the surface with a little olive oil.
- 2nd Rise: Allow to rise for one hour.
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Topping: Gently brush with olive oil + water mixture, and carefully sprinkle with sea salt.
- Create dimples: Carefully use your fingers to push down in the dough (creating dimples) until you reach the bottom of the pan.
- Bake: Bake 15 -20 minutes (watch it closely after 15 minutes).
- Category: Bread
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
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