A light and chewy Italian flatbread. Serve as a side to any meal or use to make sandwiches. Unlike pizza, focaccia is usually just brushed with rich olive oil and, perhaps, sprinkled with coarse salt and coarsely chopped herbs as sage, basil, and oregano.
Yield: One 14-inch focaccia
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2½ - 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 package (2¼ tsp, ¼oz, 7g) RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
- Olive oil for brushing top of dough
- Toppings (see below)
Bread Machine Method
- Have liquid ingredients at 80°F and all others at room temperature. Place ingredients in pan in the order listed. Select dough/manual cycle. Do not use the delay. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, ½ to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. When cycle is complete, remove dough and follow directions under the Shaping, Rising and Baking section. See our Bread Machine section for more helpful tips and information.
- Dry mixture: Combine yeast, 1 cup flour and other dry ingredients; set aside. Combine water and oil in a microwave-safe dish; heat to 120-130°F. Use mixing method preferred below.
- Hand-Held Mixer Method: Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt in mixing bowl, whisk together. Add water (very warm, but not too hot to touch) and olive oil. Mix on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add additional flour if necessary, being careful not to add too much. Dough should be soft and pliable, slightly tacky. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe. Continue with Shaping, Rising and Baking instructions below.
- Stand Mixer Method: Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt in mixer bowl, whisk together. Add water (very warm, but not too hot to touch) and olive oil. Mix with paddle attachment for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead with dough hook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium speed until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe. Continue with Shaping, Rising and Baking instructions below.
- Food Processor Method: Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt in mixing bowl, whisk together. Add to processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add room temperature water and olive oil. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough, process until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe. Continue with Shaping, Rising and Baking instructions below.
Shaping, Rising and Baking
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Shaping method 1: Shape into a ball, place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten to a 14-inch circle. With a table knife, cut a circle in dough about 1 inch from edge, cutting almost through to the baking sheet. Prick center with a fork. Shaping method 2: Place dough on greased sheet pan. Shape into oval or rectangle, about 14 inches long. Using your fingers, poke the surface to dimple the focaccia. Press almost through the dough, as the dimples will close a little during rising.
- Cover; let rise about 15 minutes. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to cool. Serve warm or cool.
- Suggested Focaccia Toppings: sun-dried tomatoes, grilled green pepper slices, sautéed onion rings, grated hard cheese and fresh or dried herbs of any combination. Featured topping in picture: 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, coarse salt for sprinkling.
- Red Star recipe, image by Completely Delicious.
You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) in place of Active Dry Yeast in your recipes. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Use equal amounts when baking using traditional methods. When using the Bread Machine, use ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information on baking.