My latest obsession is baking focaccia. I don’t really like to bake, but this no knead recipe for focaccia is super easy and gives a great result.
It all started with the miso garlic butter focaccia from Okonomi kitchen. I have now adjusted the quantities a little and started experimenting with my own toppings.
Making focaccia dough
You make the dough the day before you want to eat the focaccia. It has to rise for about 15 hours in the refrigerator with a second proofing for another 3 to 4 hours. I usually start making the dough at 6:00 PM and do the next steps at 9:00 AM the next morning.
Mixing the dough and first proofing
I proof the dough in a 2.7qt container as my mixing bowl is too big for my fridge. Don’t use anything smaller, because the dough will increase in volume quite a bit. Grease the proofing container with olive oil.
Combine flour, salt, yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a spatula until you no longer see any dry flour. Scrape the dough into the greased proofing container with the spatula, brush the top of the dough with a little olive oil and close with the lid.
Stretch and fold and second proofing
Grease a baking pan with olive oil.
Take a large mixing bowl and grease it with olive oil. Carefully remove the bread dough from the proofing container and put it in the greased mixing bowl. Stretch and fold the dough by doing a “Coil fold”. For the coil fold I rub my fingers with olive oil and use the method in the video. I do this a couple of times until the dough doesn’t stretch as much anymore. Put the dough in the greased baking pan for a second proofing.
Cover the baking pan with a lid or use plastic wrap, making sure it won’t touch the rising dough. My baking pan is 9 x 13 inches and comes with a lid. Now let it proof at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. The dough will double in volume and will spread over the baking pan.
Focaccia toppings and baking
For a soft and fluffy bread you want to preserve the bubbles in the dough as much as possible. Coat your fingers with olive oil and gently press your fingers into the dough until you almost touch the bottom of the pan. Now spread the dough with your favourite toppings, sprinkle with salt flakes if you like and drizzle with a olive oil.
Bake in the middle of the oven and cool on a rack.
For the focaccia above I made port soaked figs and added walnuts and blue cheese. I didn’t use fancy blue cheese for this, but Danablu from the supermarket. This does not melt away completely and remains a bit firmer than, for example, gorgonzola. Gorgonzola or other softer blue cheeses are fine, but they will spread more. I also tried this combination with soft goat cheese, a good alternative if you don’t like blue cheese.
Focaccia topping suggestions
Make sure your toppings aren’t too wet, as they can prevent the dough from cooking evenly.
- Maldon salt flakes and olive oil
- Port soaked figs, walnuts and blue cheese
- Salt flakes, nigella seed and olive oil
- Miso chili oil, cherry tomatoes and corn
- Garlic miso butter, king oyster mushroom and spring onion
- Chili crisp and (blue) cheese
For the focaccia below I followed 2 recipes by Okonomi Kitchen. The recipes for miso garlic butter focaccia and miso chili oil focaccia . For the miso garlic butter I used a slightly different method. I gently confited whole garlic cloves in melted butter until the cloves softened. I removed the garlic from the butter and followed the rest of the recipe. The confit garlic is then used for topping the focaccia later.
- Big bowl
- Bake with a lid for the dough to rise
- Baking pan with lid
- Scale suitable for small quantities
- Cooling rack
How to store focaccia
Focaccia is best eaten freshly baked, but I usually eat it for about 3 days. After letting it cooling completely, I store the focaccia in my baking pan with lid. I think freezing doesn’t work for this particular bread because of the toppings. You can eat the bread as is or pop it in the oven. About 7 minutes at 175°C.
More savoury baking recipes
- Savory scones with bacon, cheese and thyme
- Tomato galette
- Char siu sausage rolls
- Kimchi sausage rolls
- 450g flour
- 7g yeast
- 7g salt
- 385g water
- Extra virgin olive oil
Port soaked figs
- 500g dried figs
- 1 bottle of red port
Other toppings to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt flakes
- Walnuts, unroasted
- Blue cheese
Port soaked figs
- Remove the hard stems from the dried figs and place them in a small saucepan. Using a smaller pan means having to use less port. Top up the saucepan with port until the figs are just covered. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let them simmer gently.
- Stir occasionally, let the figs swell and reduce the port. This should take about 15-25 minutes , but mostly check the softness of the figs.The soaked figs are ready when the figs have become nicely soft and plump and the port has been reduced to a syrup.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the figs cool completely. Store them with the syrup in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
You could make smaller quantities, but you can use these figs for other things like sauces or serve them with a cheese board.
Making focaccia dough
- Take a large bowl and put 450 grams of flour in it, together with 7 grams of yeast , 7 grams of salt and 385 grams of water . If you don't have an accurate scale for small amounts, use a 7 gram sachet of yeast and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Stir the dough well with a spatula until all the dry flour has been mixed in.
First proofing (15 hours)
- Take a container with a lid or a bowl that easily fits in the refrigerator with a volume of at least 2.5 liters/2.7qt. Grease the container with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil and place the dough in the container.
- Lightly grease the top of the dough with olive oil and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and let rise for 15 hours.
Folding the dough and second proofing
- Grease your baking tin (9 x 13 inches) with extra virgin olive oil.
- Take a large mixing bowl and grease with extra virgin olive oil, carefully remove the dough from the proofing container and place in the greased bowl.
- Coat your fingers with a layer of olive oil. Do coil folds by lifting the dough by the sides. Let the dough stretch and then lower it, with the front side of the dough folded under it. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and lift the dough again, allow to stretch and lower the dough with the front side folded under. See this video on how to do a coil fold. Repeat the coil fold a few times and you will notice that the dough eventually becomes firmer and stretches less.
- Place the dough in the greased baking pan. Put the lid on or cover with plastic wrap in a way it cannot touch the dough. Let the dough proof at room temperature 3 to 4 hours. Preheat the oven to 220°C towards the end of proofing.
- Coat your fingers with olive oil and gently press your fingers into the dough to dimple the focaccia.
For a simple focaccia you can now sprinkle the dough with extra virgin olive oil and Maldon salt flakes .
For the fig, walnut and blue cheese focaccia I halve the soaked figs. Spread port soaked figs, walnuts and blue cheese over the dough to taste. Sprinkle with salt flakes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 220°C for 20-22 minutes and cool on a rack.
For larger or smaller quantities you can easily divide or multiply the quantities for the basic dough recipe. Just make sure you divide or multiply all the ingredients the same way.
Use fresh figs instead of port soaked ones when they are in season.
Store leftover focaccia in an airtight container after it has completely cooled.
Do not use toppings that are very wet, as this can cause the dough to remain raw or soggy.
Buy ingredients from a mill or baking supply store for even better results.
Reheat plain focaccia with (blue) cheese and chili crisp as a delicious way to finish leftovers.