easy focaccia

Our recipe is perfect for newcomers to bread making. No mixer, kneading, or tricky shaping skills are required. Just a little stirring and folding of ingredients is all that is necessary to produce an impressive flatbread with a deliciously crispy-fried base.

Printable Recipe    • recette imprimable    • druckbares Rezept    • Receta Imprimible

Yield: Two round or one rectangular focaccia.

Timing:  Make the starter the night before baking. In the morning, mix the main dough and bake the focaccia in time for lunch.  Or, to bake the focaccia in the evening, scroll down to Alternative Timing for tips on refrigerating the starter.focaccia_TIMELINE

Starter Volume Grams Ounces
Unbleached all-purpose flour ½ C 80 2.8
Instant yeast ¼ tsp 0.8 0.03
Water, lukewarm ⅓ C 80 2.8

Equipment:  Brød and Taylor Folding Proofer & Slow Cooker, two 9″ / 23 cm round pans or one 9″ x 13″ / 23 x 33 cm rectangular pan, either non-stick or lined with parchment.

Mix and Ferment the Starter.  Set up the Proofer, fill the water tray half full with water and set the temperature to 75 °F / 24 °C.  In a large bowl, mix the starter ingredients until well blended and smooth.  It should have the consistency of a thick batter.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and put the starter in the Proofer to ferment for 12 hours.

Fermented dough

Fermented Dough

Main Dough Volume Grams Ounces
Unbleached all-purpose flour 2½ C 355 12.5
Instant yeast 1 tsp 3 0.1
Water, lukewarm 1¼ C 296 10.5
Salt 1 tsp 6 0.2

Mix and Ferment the Main Dough.  Set the Proofer to 80 °F / 27 °C and check that the water tray is filled.  Add all of the main dough ingredients to the bowl of fermented starter and mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula.  The dough will be very wet and sticky.  Scrape down the sides, place the bowl of dough into the Proofer and allow to rise for 2 hours.

how to fold the dough

Fold the Dough.  During the 2-hour rise, put the dough through three folding sessions, ideally about 30 minutes apart.  For each session, leave the dough in the bowl and use an oiled spatula to gently lift and fold sections of dough. Turn the bowl 90 degrees after each fold, folding and turning the bowl a total of 8 times in each folding session.

Topping Volume Grams Ounces
Olive oil 4 T 54 1.9
Salt ½ tsp 3 0.1
optional:  fresh rosemary  1-2 sprigs

Stretched dough is ready in 9

Stretched dough is ready in 9″ cake pans.

Get Ready to Bake.  After the last folding session, preheat the oven to 500 °F / 260 °C and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.  If your pans don’t have a non-stick coating, line the bottoms with parchment.  Pour half the olive oil into the pans and spread evenly to coat the sides and bottom.

Divide and Rest the Dough.  If using two 9″ / 23 cm round pans, scrape the sticky dough onto a lightly floured (or oiled) surface. Using an oiled sharp knife, divide the dough into two halves.  With oiled hands, gently tuck the edges under to shape into two balls of dough.  Place each ball in a round pan, turn to coat with olive oil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Alternatively, if using one 9 x 13″/ 23 x 33 cm pan, scrape the dough out onto the oiled pan.  Coat the top with a little olive oil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

focaccia in 12x18 sheet pan

Double batch of focaccia in 12×18 sheet pan.

Shape the Dough.  With oiled hands, gently stretch the dough out towards the edges of the pans. If the dough resists stretching, let it rest 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it out to the edges.  Spread the remaining oil and all of the salt evenly over the dough, and add rosemary if desired.  With oiled fingers, dimple the dough deeply all over, pressing down until fingers just touch the bottom of the pan.

Bake the Focaccia.  Load the focaccia into the oven and reduce the temperature to 450 °F / 232 °C.  Bake until golden brown on both the top and underside, about 20 minutes. If necessary, rotate pans half way through baking for even browning.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the focaccia from the pans to a cutting board. Brush any oil left in the pans over top. Slice and enjoy.

focaccia cooling on rack

Quarter Sheet Pan

Alternative Timing:  If you would like to bake the focaccia in the evening, it’s easy to retard the starter.  After the starter has fermented overnight for 10-11 hours, cover and refrigerate.  Remove the starter from the refrigerator about 4 hours before serving, then allow it to warm in the Proofer at 75 °F /  24°C for an hour.  Follow the directions above to mix and fold the main dough and to bake the focaccia.  It will be warm, fragrant and fresh from the oven at dinnertime!

Overall Formula Grams Ounces Baker’s %
Flour 435 15.3 100%
Yeast 4 0.14 0.9%
Water 376 13.3 86%
Salt 6 0.21 1.4%
Pre-fermented flour 80 2.8 18.4%