This is a basic recipe for focaccia bread from the ligure region. In Italy, this flatbread comes in various kind of flavours and shapes. In Florence, it is a close cousin of the pizza, pizzaiolos will bake a thick pizza base "topless" or with a couple of slices of tomatoes, in tuscani if you ask for it in a bakery you be given a schiacciata which is a thin loaf of bread tempered with some olive oil or just flavoured with some rosemary or sage: the focaccia salvia.

So this is how it goes:

  • 7 1/2 cups (750 g) unbleached stronghold flour
  • 2 ounces (50 g) active yeast
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, both finely and coarsely ground

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Make a mound of flour on your work surface, scoop a well into the middle of it, and pour in the yeast mixture together with 5 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 healthy pinches of fine salt.

Knead the mixture, adding small amounts of warm water as necessary, until you obtain a fairly firm, homogeneous dough. Put it in a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise for 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C).

Grease a baking sheet and dust it well with finely ground salt. Take the risen dough, flatten it out, and spread it enough to completely cover the baking sheet, dimpling the surface by pressing down on it with a spoon. Take the remaining oil and beat it lightly with a little water to make an emulsion; brush this emulsion over the focaccia and sprinkle it with coarse sea salt. Bake the focaccia until it is a lively golden brown, then remove it and let it cool. Don't let it over brown.

A couple of tips: Put a bowl of water in the oven with the focaccia, to keep it from drying out too much as it bakes.

"We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink..."

Vegetarian, Vegan, Nut free, Daity free