Focaccia is a northern Italian flat bread most associated with the Ligurian region around Genoa. Like the Neopolitan pizza, focaccia is an extremely plastic concept, and you can top the bread with just about anything you like. This version centers around roasted red peppers, but I frequently do tomato-and-basil and rosemary versions as well.
Makes: 6 servings
Time: About 3 hours, most of it unattended.
- 2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of lukewarm water (about 100°F)
- 2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or thyme
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, approximately
- Extra virgin olive oil or pepperolio for drizzling
- Pre-heat the oven to 425°F, preferably with a bread stone. Allow sufficient time for the stone to thoroughly heat.
- Let the dough rise at least 1.5 hours (or up to 2.5 hours, if you’ve got the time), then knead down gently
- Form the dough into flat disc about 1.5 inches thick, and poke the dough with your fingers to make many depressions in the surface of the bread, giving it a “quilted” look to hold the toppings better.
- Sprinkle a bread peel with corn meal to prevent the loaf from sticking, or form the loaf on a very thin cookie sheet to place on top of the bread stone.
- Let the loaf rise about half an hour more.
- Just before putting the loaf in the oven, sprinkle the top with the toppings ingredients
- Bake at 425°F for about 20-25 minutes, until top crust and cheese is moderately brown and toasted.
See my general notes on yeast bread baking for more information on what brands of ingredients and equipment I use.