Focaccia: a flatbread wonder!


Focaccia (pronounced fokatcha) is traditionally a yeasted baked flatbread which originated in the Italian cuisine. It has a similar texture to that of a pizza but Focaccia can be moulded into shape of sandwich bread and buns and can also be topped with both savoury and/or sweet fillings and toppings.

Focaccia is quite simple to make and requires a few basic ingredients such as flour, salt, yeast, water, sugar and olive oil. There are plenty of variations to Focaccia but the basic dough remains the same and the result; an aromatic, fluffy Focaccia bread.

For this recipe I used all-purpose flour but other types of flour such as rye, whole-wheat flour etc. can also be used but the measurements would differ. Some recipes use active dry yeast to make it but I swear by fresh yeast. It is because with fresh yeast I am 100 % sure that my bread will rise and the yeast will activate unless it’s expired.

Most common type of Focaccia is the one with olive oil and rosemary herbs. But I used regular vegetables as toppings: onions, capsicum, chilly, corn and mushroom. Meats, cheeses, jalapenos, raisins, cranberries, honey — any kind of toppings can go on Focaccia.

Few toppings that I used: red, green, yellow capsicum
few toppings that I used: mushroom, corn, black olives, onion

With all the pleasantries out of the way, let’s see how this delicious Focaccia is made:

Prep time: 30 mins. Baking Time: 1 hr 20 mins. Makes 11 x 8 inch sized rectangle Focaccia

11 x 8 inch baking tray 1
11 x 8 inch hollow rectangle mould 1
Ingredients for Focaccia Dough
All purpose Flour 300 grams
Salt 5 grams
Gluten Powder (optional) 2 grams
Fresh Yeast 30 grams
Sugar 15 grams
Water for yeast 10 grams
Water for dough 90 grams
Olive Oil 10 grams
Ingredients for Topping
Red Capsicum 30 grams
Yellow Capsicum 30 grams
Green Capisucm 30 grams
Onion 30 grams
Sun-dried tomato 10 grams
Black Olives 20 grams
Corn 20 grams
Mushroom 20 grams
Jalapenos 10 grams
Red Chilly 2 pieces
Oregano 5 grams
Dried herb seasoning 5 grams
Sea Salt 5 grams
Ingredients for Topping Oil
Ginger garlic paste 5 grams
Olive oil 10 grams
Parsley 5 grams
Green Chilly 2 pieces
Directions for dough

1. In 10 grams of lightly warm water, add fresh yeast and sugar. Keep it aside for yeast to activate. When slight bubbles form on top and the sugar is dissolved, it means the yeast is activated and ready for use. This will take about 15 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, gluten, salt. Make a well in the middle of mixture and add activated yeast, water and oil.

3. Knead the dough either by hands or using a mixer with hook attachment.

4. Place the dough in a container greased with oil and rest the dough for approximately half hour or till the time it proves.

Dough after proving

Directions for toppings

5. Prepare the topping by chopping all the capsicums, onion, jalapeno, olive, sundried tomato, red chilly.

6. Saute the mushroom and corn and then add as topping.

7. The topping oil can be made by blending, oil, green chilly, ginger garlic paste and parsley.

To make Focaccia

8. Grease the baking tray and rectangle mould with oil. Place the mould inside the tray. This will give shape to the Focaccia when it bakes.

9. After the dough has risen to double size, put it on the counter and deflate the dough again.

10. With the help of a rolling pin, roll out the dough to the size of the greased tray.

11. At this point, you can leave the dough for another 5 minutes to rise or can make dents in the dough using your fingertips. It will look like potholes made in the dough.

12. Spread the topping oil mixture, leaving just a little for after baking, on the entire Focaccia.

13. Place all the vegetable toppings, oregano, dried herbs and sea salt on the Focaccia.

14. Leave this for another 5-10 minutes to prove. Till then pre-heat your oven!

15. In a pre-heated convection oven, bake the Focaccia at 180 degree celcius for 15-20 minutes.

16. Spread the remaining oil on the Focaccia after its baked and transfer it on the cooling rack. But its best enjoyed when hot and freshly baked from the oven. So don’t wait up and enjoy your Focaccia!

Focaccia can be served as a complete dish in itself or as accompaniment with soup, continental food, as a sandwich or with vegetarian or non-vegetarian patty stuffed in Focaccia bun. Storing it is also easy, though in my house it’s straight out of the oven and into my family’s stomachs.

Pack the leftover Focaccia in air-tight box or plastic bag and keep in fridge. To re-use it, sprinkle little milk and warm in oven or microwave and consume immediately. I hope you will try this simple, aromatic and flavourful Focaccia and give your twist to it. Happy Baking!

Sliced Focaccia with perfect texture!

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