Golden Focaccia

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Yield: one large or two smaller focaccia, about 12 large servings total

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With its roughly dimpled surface and craggy interior, focaccia is perfect for dipping in flavored olive oil.

Our guarantee: This tasty flatbread will be light-textured, golden, and about 1/2" tall. Crisp when it comes out of the oven, it becomes chewier as it cools.

Golden Focaccia

star rating (27) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: one large or two smaller focaccia, about 12 large servings total
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Starter

Dough

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Tips from our bakers

  • The overnight starter and extra-long rise in the pan do two lovely things for your focaccia. First, they give the yeast a chance to grow and really do its work, resulting in light-as-air flatbread with an appealing bit of chew. And second, as the yeast grows it releases organic acids and alcohol, both of which contribute immeasurably to the focaccia's flavor.
  • Feel free to experiment with toppings. Try some thyme or oregano in place of the rosemary. Scatter some feta cheese on top halfway through the baking time. While the classic version is topped very simply, we Americans have never been very good at leaving well enough alone!

Directions

1) To make the starter: Mix the water and 1/16 teaspoon yeast, then add the flour, stirring till the flour is incorporated. The starter will be paste-like; it won't form a ball.

2) Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; the starter will be bubbly. If you make this in the late afternoon, it'll be ready to go by the next morning.

3) To make the dough: If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

4) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to make a soft, smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed.

5) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.

6) Gently deflate it, and allow it to rise for another hour; it should have doubled in bulk from its original volume.

7) Lightly grease an 18" x 13" baking sheet with a rim (or two 9" x 13" pans) with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Drizzle olive oil atop the spray; the spray keeps the bread from sticking, while the olive oil gives the bottom crust great crunch and flavor.

8) If you're using the baking sheet, gently pull and shape the dough into a rough rectangle, and pat it into the pan. As soon as it begins to fight you and shrink back, stop patting. If you're using two 9" x 13" pans, divide the dough in half, shape each half into a rough rectangle, and pat one piece into each pan. When the pieces start to shrink back, stop patting. Wait 15 minutes; pat the dough farther towards the edges of the pan(s). Repeat once more, if necessary, till the dough is close to covering the bottom of the pan(s).

9) Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rise till it's very puffy, almost billowy. This will take about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

10) Gently dimple the dough at irregular intervals with your fingers, pressing down firmly, but not abruptly; you don't want to deflate it too much.

11) Spritz heavily with warm water, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to collect a bit in the dimples), then sprinkle with rosemary (or the herb of your choice), black pepper, and a bit of coarse salt, to taste.

12) Bake the focaccia for about 10 minutes. Reverse the pan(s) in the oven (top pan on the bottom, bottom pan on the top), and bake until the focaccia is light golden brown, about another 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Variations:
This focaccia lends itself beautifully to stuffing, either savory or sweet. Here are two variations: one for a savory cheese version, one for a sweet breakfast treat featuring golden raisins.

The directions below call for you to divide the dough in half and bake it in two 9" x 13" pans. If you prefer, don't divide the dough, and bake it in an 18" x 13" pan.

Cheese-Stuffed Focaccia
1) Prepare the focaccia dough as directed above, dividing it in half.

2) Shape the two pieces of dough into rough 12" x 8" rectangles, and lay them down on a lightly greased work surface.

3) Spread each piece of dough with 2/3 cup crumbled or diced cheese of your choice, leaving about 1" bare all around the edges.

4) Fold two opposite edges into the center, like you're folding a letter; then fold the two ends into the center, again like a letter. You will have made a filled square. Gently press to flatten.

5) Place the filled breads into the prepared pans, and gently flatten them some more. Wait 15 minutes, and flatten again, pressing them as flat as you can without exposing the filling; you should be able to press this soft dough almost to the corners of the pan.

6) Allow the focaccia to rise, covered, for about 3 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

7) Just before baking, spritz the focaccia heavily with warm water.

8) Drizzle it with olive oil (enough to collect a bit in the dimples), then sprinkle with rosemary (or the herb of your choice), black pepper, and a tiny bit of coarse salt.

9) Bake as directed in the original recipe.

Sweet Breakfast Focaccia
1) Prepare the focaccia dough as directed above.

2) Spray two 9" x 13" pans with non-stick vegetable oil spray, but don't drizzle with olive oil.

3) Once you've used your hands to shape the two pieces of dough into rough 12" x 8" rectangles, lay them down on a lightly greased work surface.

4) Spread each piece of dough with 2/3 cup golden raisins, leaving about 1" bare all around the edges.

5) Fold two opposite edges into the center, like you're folding a letter; then fold the two ends into the center, again like a letter. You will have made a raisin-filled square. Gently press to flatten.

6) Place the raisin-filled focaccias into the prepared pans, and gently flatten them some more. Wait 15 minutes, and flatten again, pressing them as flat as you can without exposing the raisins; you should be able to press this soft dough almost to the corners of the pan.

7) Allow the focaccia to rise, covered, for about 3 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

8) Just before baking, spritz the focaccia heavily with warm water, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup (1/4 cup on each focaccia) coarse sparkling sugar, demerara sugar, or a combination.

9) Bake as directed in the original recipe.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 piece of golden fo Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150 Calories from Fat: 45 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 0.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 270mg Total Carbohydrate: 23g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

1 23  All  
  • 05/01/2015
  • Kat from Spokane WA
  • If making a sourdough version, do you add all the yeast to both the starter and the final dough? Wouldn't that make it rise too fast? And I assume you add the sourdough to the starter?

    You can use a portion of sourdough in the starter. If you have patience, use only starter and omit the yeast. Hapy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 08/10/2014
  • Horibams@hotmail.com from KAF Community
  • I used my fed sough dough as starter! It only takes 9 oz and it was sweet success. Thanks for wonderful recipe as always!
  • star rating 07/30/2014
  • Pamela from Tequesta, FL
  • This Focaccia turned out even better than I hoped. The directions were perfect and the resulting bread was truly crunchy on the outside and wonderfully chewy on the inside. I used some for dipping in herbed oil, and the rest was topped with sun dried tomatoes, a little crumbled cheese and olives. My guests pleaded for the recipe.
  • star rating 05/26/2014
  • Helen from Lake Mary, FL
  • I've made this twice, once kneading by hand and once with my new Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I followed the recipe exactly, including using the bigger 18x 13 1/2 inch pan. I bake all our bread and typically use the recipe time and temperature at KA with no problem. With this recipe I pulled the bread out at 17-18 min and it was still overcooked, but not burned. It looked golden but dry on the inside, no tenderness at all. I'm not sure if I should reduce the temp, but perhaps this recipe could use some adjusting since there have been some other reviews with the same problem.

    I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with this recipe. Reducing the oven temperature in this case is most likely going to dry out the bread more, so I would recommend you check out our webpage on measuring flour and see if you may just be a little heavy handed in your flour amounts which would cause your loaf to bake up dry. If you would like to call our Baker's Hotline at 1-855-371-2253, we'd be happy to talk through some other possibilities with you if the flour suggestion doesn't work, so we can have you baking up beautiful, tender focaccia the next time around. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 09/18/2013
  • pwarslie01 from KAF Community
  • I have not tried this recipe as yet but would like to know whether I can substitute sourdough for the starter and if so how much sourdough? Thanks
    Yes, you may use some of your starter in this recipe. Add 1 cup of starter and remove 4 oz of flour and 4 oz of water from the recipe. Keep the yeast and everything else the same. Adjust the recipe as needed by adding more flour or liquid. Happy baking! Elisabeth
  • star rating 07/17/2013
  • Kellie G from Newport News, VA
  • Beyond pleased with this recipe. Easy to make, the taste was out of this world. It didn't even need butter or anything -- just the olive oil I brushed on top. I used some fresh rosemary from my garden along with some seas salt on top and the flavors were awesome. The crust was golden and almost crispy (I baked them in two 9x3 round cake pans instead of the sheets) and the interior was soft and fluffy. The teenager and I have just about destroyed one half and the other will go to try as a pizza with fresh herbs and tomatoes straight from the garden along with some fresh mozzarella. I will definitely be making this one again!
  • star rating 02/18/2012
  • Joe from Baltimore, MD
  • Expected a bit more from this recipe. I think the biggest issue is that the 18 x 13 pan is too big for this amount of dough. I covered the pan with the dough using vary light presses as instructed and I gave the dough the full three hours for its last rise, and that rise was ample. Nonetheless, I found the loaf to be too compact after the 20 minutes at 400. Color was good and flavor was sufficient , although I would suggest being more liberal than 'a tiny bit' of salt for the topping.
  • star rating 04/15/2011
  • satx from KAF Community
  • Just wanted to say a reviewer said the recipe doesn't include instructions on when to add the starter. See step # 4. (It refers to the "yeast.")
  • star rating 09/07/2010
  • duckybutt01 from KAF Community
  • Oh, this turned out so good! It's super simple, the hardest part is the waiting. I thought it was tasty on it's own, and even better used for sandwiches. It's definitely a keeper - thanks KAF!
  • star rating 08/25/2010
  • kambola from KAF Community
  • This was very lovely. I put on fresh rosemary as well as the kosher salt and pepper. 1/2 of the bread was left to be consumed on it's own. The other half I cut into bite size pieces and topped them off with home made bruschetta and a slice of mozzarella. Delicious! Only a few pieces left after supper. It was loved by even my brother who said he hated focaccia bread. This scrumptious bread changed his mind real quick. Thank you.
    Nothing beats the approval of our family members for baking success and baker confidence! Irene @ KAF
1 23  All  
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