Monday, 8 November 2010

Genovese style homemade focaccia bread (focaccia genovese versione casalinga)



This was my first attempt in making a focaccia bread, the only other time I made one was a different type of bread that included potatoes in the dough. I firstly need to say this experiment was quite successfull for a first try and I will surely repeat it as soon as I have some friends over for dinner as I think it's a very appetizing starter to share with some Italian typical cheeses and hams and a nice glass of red wine. You can rest assured no one will complain or refuse a second slice of focaccia :)


This particular kind or bread is typical of the Liguria region in Italy, in particular the city of Genoa. Some even have it for breakfast with their morning cappuccino! (and this is definitely not a sweet bread...)
The origins of this recipe date back to centuries ago, and it's part of the popular tradition of the Italian food.

I made three different styles of focaccia: plain with rosemary only, with onions (my favourite one) and with a little bit of tomato paste and feta cheese.

I also need to say that to make this focaccia bread you will need to be quite patient: as the secret of a good focaccia is a well raised dough...so if you're in a hurry better plan to prepare this the day before or...change recipe  :)

Here's what I did.

For the dough:
350 grams of strong bread flour
200 ml water (lukewarm)
20 ml oil
7 gr salt
1 tbsp honey (or even better of malt)
7 grams dry yeast

For the condiment:
This is up to your taste/fantasy but for sure you will need:
50 ml of a very good extra virgin olive oil
50 ml water (I use some salt in the water too)
and if you like:
1 onion or
green olives or
rosmary

I used my precious bread machine as I am too lazy to prepare the dough. I simply poured the dough ingredients in (all but the yeast first, this will be added a little bit later so that it doesn't get in touch with the salt)



and patiently waited for the dough to double its size, it will take approximately 1 hour. If you don't have a bread machine you can leave the bread in the oven (turned off) with just the lights on as it keep the air off and allows the dough to raise at a constant temperature (the one from the oven lights).


Once the dough has doubled its size, set it on a floured surface and fold it once or twice: this will allow the dough to get 'stronger' and easier to work. Let rest for 30 minutes.



In the meanwhile you can prepare your oven tray by using some oil or some baking foil ...I used both :) 
I prepared 3 different trays, as I made 3 different kinds of focaccia. 



Divide the main dough into 3 separate balls and spread each one onto each tray: while doing this make sure you don't 'pull' the dough with you hands but just 'push' it down to spread evenly on the tray surface.
Leave to rest for another 30 minutes. 


And now the focaccia is ready for your fingerprints :) with your fingers create the typical dots texture in the dough. This will not only give the typical focaccia look, but will also allow the oil , the water and he condiments to fills these smalls holes keeping it moist and tasty. Add the olive oil and also some water in the centre of the focaccia, and keep on doing the small dots.

Sprinkle some salt on the surface (better if coarse salt) and add your condiments. If you're using onions I would reccomend slicing them finely and let them in the microwave oven for a couple of minutes first, so they go in the oven softly and won't be raw when the focaccia is ready as it takes only about 15/20 minutes to cook at a 200 degrees temperature.

This is my onions focaccia before baking

Fresh rosemary is totally different, but unfortunately I didn't have it ...

and here's the result!

let cool down for 20 minutes....ok 10 minutes ;)

Time to share with friends and family...buon appettito and I hope you enjoy!

9 comments:

  1. Che buono! sembra proprio la focaccia che si trova alla rosticceria vicino a casa di mia zia a Roma

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  2. I need to make some focaccia soon. This sounds so yummy , I can almost smell the rosemary. Grazie!

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  3. Your focaccia is making me hungry!! Thank you :)

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  4. Just seen this - and will make it with my 2 children this afternoon after school Grazie Mille!

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  5. thank you everyone! It's very important to remember to keep the focaccia moist with water when baking, or the result won't be similar to the original If needed, spray some water on the focaccia surface even while in the oven in case it gets too dry
    don't over do with the salt in the dough: as you will sprinkle coarse salt on the surface it will be too much othewise :)

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  6. It looks lovely. My favourite one is with herbs (tymhe or rosemary) and onion, but I never thought about making focaccia so thin, I will have to try it next time.

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  7. I love your blog! You should check out italissima because they I have heard that they have so much good food!

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  8. Oh my goodness! I want to eat all of this food you are posting. I really appreciate it. I love trying new recipes. Thanks.

    Mia | http://www.littleitalianpizza.com/

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