Focaccia genovese (Italian olive oil bread with rock salt)

Cooking time: 15/20 minutes

Prep. time: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

Yield: 1 tray – around 40cm x 32cm

Ingredients:

  • 16gr salt
  • 25gr brewers yeast
  • 600gr manitoba flour but I use all-purpose flour and it turns out just fine
  • 400ml warm water
  • 2 teaspoon of sugar or 1 tablespoon of malt
  • 140ml of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of rock salt

Optional:

  • Rosemary leaves or
  • Olives or
  • Cherry tomatoes or
  • Slices of onion

Steps

  1. I use a kitchen robot with the hook to mix the ingredients. If you don’t have it, you can use your hands, a wooden spoon or a handmixer (with the dough hooks) in a large bowl
  2. Melt the salt and the sugar (or malt) in the warm water inside the kitchen robot bowl
  3. Add 40ml olive oil
  4. Add approximately half of the flour and mix until reaching an homogenous liquid mixture
  5. Add the crumbled yeast and mix for 3 minutes
  6. Add the remaining flour until obtaining a smooth and slightly sticky compound
  7. Pour 50ml olive oil on the baking tray (measures of around 45cmx36)
  8. Work the dough with your hands on a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic for 1 or 2 minutes
  9. Give the dough a rectangular shape similar to the baking tray *
  10. Set the dough on the oiled tray and lightly oil the top of the dough with the oil you find on the corners of the tray ( I use a kitchen brush to help me with) *
  11. Let the dough rest for 1 hour and 30 mins inside a turned-off oven with the light on (around 30°)
  12. Now the dough should have almost doubled
  13. Flatten the dough to cover the entire tray
  14. Pour half of the remaining oil on top of the dough and sprinkle the top of it with the rock salt
  15. Let the dough rest for other 30 mins inside a turned-off oven with the light on
  16. Take the tray with the dough out of the oven and press the surface of the mixture with the fingertips to create little dimples
  17. Add the remaining olive oil on top of dough with a kitchen brush
  18. Let the dough rest for other 30 mins inside a turned-off oven with the light on
  19. Preheat oven to 200°
  20. Spray or sprinkle the surface with a bit of water at room temperature
  21. If you want to add some of the options ingredients you can add them on top of the dough at this step
  22. Cook it for around 15/20 mins until golden brown
  23. When ready, let the focaccia cool on a baking grid (to keep it crunchy)

*You might find in other recipe that step 8 and 9 is done placing the dough inside a bowl and leave to rest for 1 hour and 30 mins after covering it with plastic or a towel. I prefer to place it directly on the tray. You can decide with approach to use. What is important is that the dough rest for at least 1 hour

The focaccia is not difficult to prepare but you have to be patient since it has to leaven a lot. This is what it takes to prepare a traditional bread from Italy. There are different variations different regions in Italy’s. The most famous comes from Genoa where it’s called ‘fugassa‘ in the local dialect.

I hope you will like this recipe. I love this type of bread. I normally make the simple version but I am a big fan of it with green olives as well. You can fill the focaccia with ham and cheese, fresh cheese, tomatoes and mozzarella and much more!

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