Focaccia Genovese

by | Jan 24, 2021 | Primi - First Course, recipes | 0 comments

Focaccia genovese is a traditional flat, oily bread from Liguria. It was invented in it’s current form around the 16th century and was served at church events, including weddings. It got so popular in fact, that priests actually banned it from funerals as it made the atmosphere too jovial! Today, when visiting Liguria, a focacceria – or a focaccia shop – is a must visit. They serve hot focaccia with a variety of toppings, from traditional pesto, to tomatoes, potatoes and even nutella! Thankfully, it’s also not too hard to make at home, so if you’re missing (or want to try) this delicious Italian bread, give this recipe a prova!

Makes one 35×30 CM focaccia / 11×13 in INCHES – See bottom of recipe for serving suggestions but also cooking variations (like toppings)

Ingredients

300g flour type “0” 

200g of water

10g of yeast (in Italy, lievito di birra)

30g extra virgin olive oil

7.5g salt

7.5g of honey or sugar

Extra oil, water and flakes of salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add water (warmed to correct temperature if  yeast requires), yeast, flour and sugar or honey
  1. Mix for four minutes on medium. Then add salt and continue mixing, adding the oil slowly
  1. Once well mixed (should be about 5-6 minutes total time), transfer dough to a bowl where it can comfortably double in size,  cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour
  1. Lightly oil a 9×13 inches (35x30cm) pan/baking sheet. Place the ball of dough in the middle and wait 15 minutes to let the dough rise slightly again
  1. Then using your fingers gently press it out to fill the pan, evenly
  1. Once it’s spread out, if your finger imprints disappeared, use your fingers to make new “impressions” in the dough (little finger imprints that give focaccia it’s traditional dimpled appearance)
  1. Mix about 2tbs oil with 2tbs water in a cup and using a cooking brush, brush the entire focaccia with the water/oil mixture. Keep the water/oil mix that remains.
  1. Sprinkle salt on top (this is to taste for your preference)
  1. Let sit for 40 minutes to rise (ambient temperature should be around 26 degrees C / 78f to ensure adequate rising, if your house is too cold, look for a warm spot or put in a turned off oven, with the door cracked open so the oven light stays on)
  1. Once it’s risen again for 40 minutes, cook in a preheated oven at 210c/410f (or 400) for 15 minutes or until evenly golden
  1. Remove from oven and brush again with water/oil mixture add additional salt if desired. Buon appetito!

Serving suggestions: In Genova, the home of focaccia, it is often served with pesto spread thickly on top, or pesto and stracchino cheese. If you want stracchino, it’s best to bake the cheese directly onto the top of the focaccia (add it to the top of the dough after it’s last 40 minute rising, just before putting in the oven)

Other options are adding toppings before putting in the oven:

  • halved cherry tomatoes 
  • Fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers)
  • Onions (precooked in oil on the stove top)
  • Sliced thin pieces of baked potato
  • Rosemary
  • Gorgonzola and apple or pear slices

You can also easily double the recipe to make two loaves of focaccia

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Ciao, I'm Rachel

I am obsessed with everything Italian! After years living in Italy, being married to an Italian, getting my Italian citezenship through my Pugliese lineage, a BA in Italian language and literature, then a MA in Italian Art History, I have lots of experience with this country! Hang out with me to learn more!