Focaccia is a traditional Italian yeast flat bread which is sometimes compared to pizza, another flat bread. Focaccia can be thicker and round shaped like a pie, or more subtle with rough edges. Just before baking the dough is usually pressed with a fingertip or spoon handle, forming small depressions drizzled with olive oil. Oil, spices and herbs will stay in these small pockets preventing the bread from drying out and giving it more flavor.
Well prepared focaccia should be light, porous and fragrant, but not oily and heavy. Just by using various herbs and spices every time you will have a new flavor. Focaccia goes well with salad or antipasti. It is a perfect compliment to soups, cheese, prosciutto, olives and wine.
Focaccia with grapes is my favorite. Here, a combination of grapes, onions and garlic develop a unique flavor and aroma.
P.S. I often make focaccia with assorted toppings (half this-half that).
one focaccia on a baking sheet or two in a cake pan
- 14 oz (400 g) all purpose flour
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250 ml of warm water
- A little flour for dusting dough
- Corn flour for dusting pan
- 5-7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for focaccia topping
- 30 grapes (about) of any color
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
- ¼ small onion, diced
- coarse salt
- black ground pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian or pizza seasoning (optional)
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Prepare the dough.
The dough can be made in a bread machine on a ‘Pizza’ setting (my machine makes the pizza dough in 45 minutes).
In a mixer bowl (or in a food processor), combine all the ingredients.
Stir in yeast in warm water.
Add salt and yeast solution to the flour. Knead the dough with a mixer or by hand. Add the oil. Knead.
Cover the dough with cling wrap or a towel and let it rest for 35-45 minutes. The dough should rise well.
On a floured surface roll out the dough into a free form circle or a rectangle ¼” thick.
Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal (optional). Transfer the focaccia on a baking sheet.
Let the dough stand for 30 minutes. (If there is no time, this process can be skipped or shortened to 10 minutes).
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Cut grapes in half. You can use the whole grapes, but then you need more.
Make small depressions with a finger or a handle of a wooden spoon.
Brush the focaccia with olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly with garlic, onion and herbs.
Arrange grapes on the focaccia cut side down slightly pressing them into the dough.
Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese (optional).
Bake in the oven for 17-25 minutes or until the focaccia is light golden brown.
Focaccia can be prepared in a cake pan. You will have two beautiful thick breads.
Focaccia can be frozen. Reheat it in the preheated oven (375 F) for 10-12 minutes.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!