The key with any bread is to know your ratio. I make Focaccia with a 65% hydration dough. That means for every ounce of flour you add, you’re going to add 2/3rds that much in water. For example: 9 oz of flour = 6 oz water.
Salt will startat 2% of the weight of flour, and yeast is anywhere from 1% to 1.2% the weight of your flour. Lastly is the olive oil, which is up to you but I start with 10% weight of flour and then add more once it’s baked.
You can measure by cups instead if that’s easier, but I find weight yields more consistent results.
All that outta the way, here’s the recipe for the focaccia I baked yesterday:
- 600g Flour
- 400g Water
- 60g Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Don’t scrimp here, use the good stuff)
- 12g Salt
- 7g Yeast
- Tsp of Brown Sugar (For Blooming the Yeast)
- Seasonings such as Oregano, Garlic, Thyme, Rosemary, etc.
- Baking Sheet plus Silpat or Parchment Paper
- Blend the salt and flour in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and mix until dough becomes somewhat clumpy, about pea-sized.
- Using filtered water, or water left on the counter to air out overnight, warm to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and add sugar and yeast. Whisk lightly until yeast lumps disappear. Wait until foam appears. This is called “Proving” the yeast. If foam doesn’t appear after 15 minutes, either buy fresh yeast or use another source of water. (Chlorine kills yeast!)
- Add water/yeast to flour and mix with a sturdy wooden spoon until dough becomes a shaggy mass. Knead until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, coat with more oil (YAY OIL!), cover with saran wrap and allow to ferment for 1 hour, or until dough doubles in size.
- Punch down dough and fold into thirds, return to bowl. Pre-heat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Transfer dough to baking tray and press flat.
- No, flatter. Flatter. Think Pizza. Yeah, like that.
- Using your fingers, press indentations deeply into dough. This will allow oil and spices to pool later.
- Season with salt and herbs.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes depending on your oven speed, or until bread is GBD. (Golden, Brown, Delicious.)
- Remove and soak with Olive Oil. Let rest for 1 hour no matter how good it smells.
Alternative toppings: shredded cheese, sundried tomatoes, fresh sliced mushrooms, sky is the limit. Focaccia is, after all, considered considered the mother-bread of pizza. Good luck!