How to make an authentic Italian focaccia
Some recipes are so traditional you forget how good they are and, in the same time, you don’t give them too much attention because they’re something you always make at home. The focaccia is one of this kind of recipes for me but for a special occasion I’ve decided to renew the traditional Italian recipe and to create a new version of a classical focaccia with garlic powder, turmeric and fennel seeds. Of course you can remove all of these ingredients and bake a simple and authentic Italian focaccia.
It’s an easy recipe everyone can make at home and it doesn’t require skills or special techniques in the kitchen; you only need a couple of hours to have a good focaccia to be eaten with cheese and cured meats.
What you need for a pan (13-15″ inches)
200 grams of white flour
100 grams of strong flour
7 grams of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
180 ml of warm water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
To cover the focaccia
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
How to make a focaccia
1. Mix the yeast with the sugar and then, stirring with a fork, also combine flour, turmeric, garlic and fennel seeds. Add enough warm water slowly, stirring constantly until you get an elastic and smooth dough.
2. Put the dough to rise for 1 hour in a warm place so after the time, take it back and spread it in a greased pan with extra virgin olive oil, letting it rise for another 30 minutes.
3. Drill holes on the surface of the bread with your fingers and let the focaccia rise for 15 minutes more. Turn the oven to the maximum and in the meantime brush the surface of the focaccia with more extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Bake at 180° for 15 minutes and then raise the temperature and cook for another 10 minutes at 200°. Cook for a further 5 minutes at 210° being careful not to burn it. Bring the focaccia out of the oven, cut and serve immediately.
Preparation time: 2 ½ hours
Advices on how to make a good focaccia
1. The more the dough rises the more the focaccia will be light and bubbly;
2. Add salt to the dough only at the end of the process otherwise the yeast won’t start acting;
3. You can use milk instead of water to help the rising process;
4. Use water in bottle, never the tap water which is full of chlorine;
5. Always let the dough do its second rise in the pan it will be baked in.
[Pic by Giuseppe Milo]