Focaccia is an oven-baked Italian bread that you can make into a sweet or savoury dish depending on what you put in it. So if it's something you're looking at baking, then here are some hints and tips to make sure you get the very best out of your bake.
Hints and Tips when making Focaccia
- Focaccia is quite a wet dough and needs a lot of water to ensure it doesn't end up with a cake-like consistency.
- You may wish to make it in a stand mixer.
- It should be proved twice.
- The first prove will allow the dough to double in size.
- Try and place it in a square tin as this will help shape it (unless you'd like to make it round).
- The second prove is when you place it in an oiled square/rectangular tin, being careful not to knock out too much air you've just created in the first prove otherwise, you'll lose the air bubbles created and end up with tight dense bread.
- After proving, put the dimples in the dough by oiling your fingers and pushing them into the dough; push them far enough to reach the bottom of the tin but not too far so that you tear the bottom of the dough. You can also use a wooden spoon for this.
- Do this throughout the dough to create multiple dimples.
- This will reduce the air content.
- If you don't make enough dimples in the dough, it will rise too quickly in the oven, possibly collapse, and the toppings won't stick to the bread.
- For the best tasting Focaccia, place all the toppings evenly across the top of the dough; that way, you will taste everything in every bite you take.
- The outside of a Focaccia should be crusty and, if tapped on the bottom, sound hollow.
- Inside the Focaccia, it should be soft with an irregular crumb that consists of large and small holes running through it. These should be pretty loose and spread out amongst the bread.
If you'd like to make your own Focaccia, then try out Paul Hollywood's recipe: Focaccia.