You may not have heard of focaccia bread, but what if I was to tell you that without it, pizza would not have been invented. Imagine a world without pizza!
Focaccia is quite a flat bread, but it is very airy and soft, and delicious to eat. It’s a type of Italian bread, and it’s thought to be one of the oldest breads ever invented. Let’s make some 🙂
- 500g (3 1/2 cups) white bread flour (also called strong white flour)
- 10g (1/2 tbsp) salt
- 7g (1 1/2 tsp) fast action yeast
- 400ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
- 4 tbsps olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- sea salt (for sprinkling over the top)
Let’s Get Going
3. After 40-60 minutes, the dough will have doubled in size. Punch it down and give it another knead for about 5 minutes–use a small amount of oil on your fingers to stop the dough sticking.
4. Drizzle some oil on a baking tray, and tip your dough onto it. Now try to push the dough to the edges of your tray–this won’t be easy, as the dough is tough to move, but do your best (it doesn’t have to reach the very edges).
5. Leave the dough for another 40 minutes, and turn your oven to 220c, 425f, gas 7.
7. Now pop your tray into the oven for 20-25 minutes until it’s a golden colour. Drizzle a little more oil over the top and sprinkle it with sea salt.
And that’s how you make focaccia bread 🙂 Focaccia is yummy eaten on its own as a snack, or try it dunked in butternut squash soup–it’s one of our favourite combos. Or you could try…
Turning Focaccia into Pizza
To make your focaccia into a pizza, you should try and hold a smaller amount of dough stretching it between both hands, pulling it out and moving it around in your hands until it becomes flatter. Now you can add your tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
When focaccia was first invented, it was cooked on a heated tile or disc placed over the fireplace. Very similar to how proper pizza is cooked today.
Bakers began to puncture the focaccia dough with a knife (we use fingers because it’s safer), and this was so the bread wouldn’t bubble up too much, so it baked nice and flat.
Because focaccia is so flat, it can get dry pretty quickly, and this is why we drizzle olive oil over the top, to keep the moisture in the bread. This is why focaccia is a perfect base for a pizza.
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