An Italian flat bread made with a wet dough, shaped into a pizza, and topped with tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese (or toppings of your choosing).
Focaccia is a simple bread that requires no real kneading. This wet dough is mixed vigorously and then stretched and folded with long rest periods. Then, it is dimpled with herb oil until the desired thick/thinness and baked. It is a long process like most yeast bread, but there is very little active time. Focaccia is a very tender bread with crisp edges and makes a great pizza dough. I opted for pizza-style focaccia which is basic focaccia topped with a few pizza toppings. I chose tapenade and sun-dried tomatoes, both of which are packed in oil, so I didn't add much extra oil.
Focaccia #bread is really quite simple & delicious it just takes time. [Tweet this]
For pizza style focaccia, there are some guidelines for when to add the toppings. There are pre-proof toppings, pre-bake toppings, and during bake toppings. The pre-proof toppings are marinated sun-dried tomatoes, olives, nuts, peppers, and roasted garlic. These are toppings that need to be surrounded by the dough so they don't burn during baking or fall off. Most soft cheeses and cured/cooked meats are pre-bake toppings while most shredded or grated cheeses are best to add during baking so they don't burn. I used sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped tapenade, and feta. 2 pre-proof and 1 pre-bake respectively. Following these simple guidelines results in delicious focaccia pizza.
Just a few simple guidelines for delicious Focaccia Pizza. [Tweet this]
Modified slightly from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's ApprenticeTotal time: 5 hours (active time: about 30 minutes off and on)
Mixing time: 5-10 minutes
Stretch and fold: 90 minutes
First rise: 1 hour
Second rise: 2 hour
Bake time: 20 minutes
Makes: 1-12 inch pizza (500 grams)
3 grams active dry yeast
190 grams water
267 grams bread flour
6 grams salt
36 grams olive oil
Oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
Coarse chopped tapenade or olives
To the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl), add the water and a spoonful of the flour. Stir to incorporate and sprinkle on the yeast (since this recipe doesn't use sugar the little bit of flour gives the yeast something on which to feed). Cover with a towel and let sit for 15 minutes until mixture becomes bubbly.
To this, add the rest of the flour, salt, and oil. Mix with the paddle attachment, on low speed, (or by hand) until a wet sticky ball forms. Switch to the dough hook and stir for 5-7 minutes on medium speed (or use your hand/a metal spoon, repeatedly dipped in water to prevent sticking, like a dough hook and quickly stir and mix the dough) until the dough becomes a smooth mass that clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom. You may need to add extra flour to reach this consistency.
Spread/spray some oil on your work surface (to keep dough from sticking) and turn out dough using a spatula or bowl scraper. Oil your hands too and pat the dough into a rough rectangle. Let the dough rest for five minutes. Then, using an oiled bench scraper to help lift the dough, begin to stretch it gently from both ends until about twice its length. Fold the ends back over themselves letter-style until the dough is roughly the same size and shape it started. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold method twice more.
**alternatively to using the oiled surface for the stretch and fold method you can use a bed of flour and floured hands to prevent sticking see this method in my Focaccia (sourdough). I found that I like using oil more because it's less messy (and olive oil is great for your hands so feel free to rub it in). You don't need to use too much I started with about a teaspoon on my work bench and spread it out with my hands to about the size of a baking pan then rubbed oil into my hands as needed.**
After the final stretch and fold, sprinkle the dough with flour, cover it with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise on the counter for 1 hour. The dough should noticeably swell but not necessarily double in size. Using oiled hands form the dough into a rough ball and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan (I used a 12x14 inch pan if using a smaller pan you may need to divide the dough into 2 pieces). You can also place the dough in a zipper bag and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days if you prefer (the refrigerated dough needs 3 hours to come to temperature once removed from the fridge).
Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and gently dimple the dough with your fingertips until it flattens out into a disk about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. Then, uncover the dough and spread with sun-dried tomatoes and tapenade along with some of their oil. Dimple the toppings and oil into the dough spreading the dough to about 12 inches in diameter. Cover the dough again and let rise for 2 hours or until 1 1/2 times it's original size.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Uncover the dough, sprinkle with feta and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the dough turns a light golden brown. If you are using any during bake toppings add them before the final five minutes of baking.
Transfer the focaccia to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
For more focaccia and pizza recipes check out:
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