Focaccia Genovese | Authentic Italian Recipe
When most people think of "focaccia," this is the type they usually have in mind. Hailing from Genoa (hence the name), it's a crusty flatbread with dimpled, salty pockets.
In Genoa, focaccia is often eaten for breakfast and dipped in coffee and milk. It sounds strange but try it! It's delicious even with sweetened coffee!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 2/3 cup (200g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup (120g) high gluten flour
Alternatively, you can use 325g bread flour instead of the above mix, although the results are better with all-purpose/high gluten.
- 1 1/4 tsp. (5g) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup (170ml) water, adjusted (see below)
- 2 tsp. (10g) salt
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- A 15x10-inch baking tray, or similar
For topping, you will need:
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. (5g) salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, throughly mix the flours and yeast with a wooden spoon. Next, add the water. Be aware that the amount of water needed can vary substantially based on the quality of the flour used and the climate you are in. We recommend adding it gradually and use more if necessary to achieve a consistency similar to the video above.
Give the water/flour a quick mix, then add the salt and honey. Continue to mix until a very rough dough has formed. Transfer to a large, clean work surface and knead by hand until the dough is relatively smooth and consistent.
Flatten the dough into a pancake and pour the olive oil on top. Fold the oil in. Knead until the oil is well-incorporated and the dough is quite smooth. Form the dough into a ball and cover with a mixing bowl. Allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes before proceeding.
Flatten the dough under your hands into an oval-shaped pancake. Fold it, lengthwise, in thirds so that it forms a small rectangle. Place on a lightly-floured surface, cover with a bowl again, and let rest again for a further 30 minutes.
Generously brush a 15x10-inch (or similar) baking tray with olive oil. Roll the dough out until it is approximately 3/4-inch thick, trying to keep it roughly in the shape of the baking sheet. Don't worry if it isn't perfect or doesn't fill the tray yet!
Place the sheet of dough on the baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest again for 30 minutes. After resting, the gluten in the dough should have relaxed enough that you can easily use your hands to spread it out more, filling the corners of the tray. Be sure to press it firmly into the edges of the tray so that the "crust" around the edge forms a raised lip.
Lightly dust the top surface with flour and spread it evenly across with your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and, once again, let it rest! This time for 1 hour.
In the meantime, dissolve 1 tsp. of salt in 1/3 cup of water and set aside for later.
After the dough has rested, it's time to make the characteristic dimples! Use your fingertips to press holes all across the top of the focaccia. Next, drizzle 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil on top, followed by several spoonfuls of the salt water (you might not need all of it).
Use your hands to evenly spread the olive oil and water across the focaccia. Add more salt water until each dimple has a small pool of liquid and oil inside. Time to let the dough rest again! (This is the last time, we promise). Allow the focaccia to rise, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Bake the focaccia for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and immediately (but carefully!) transfer it from the hot baking tray to a cutting board or serving plate.
Eat it hot or cold. And try dipping it in coffee and milk! Store extra in a ziplock bag for a day or two, freeze it to save for longer periods.