Skip the sourdough starter – try these five easy-to-master focaccia recipes while in iso
With most of us figuring out how to occupy an isolation-induced abundance of free time and the days bringing a noticeably cooler change, conditions have never been better to learn how to make focaccia. If you’re anything like us, your Instagram feed is filled with folks making their own bread while stuck at home, but we guarantee making a focaccia is way easier, just as fulfilling and far tastier depending on the ingredients you want to include. If the sound of a slightly puffed focaccia – dotted with salt and rosemary, with small pools of liberally spread olive oil resting in its pitted surface – sounds absolutely divine right now, have a crack at making some using these five recipes. You’ve got time, so why the foc not?
Classic olive-and-rosemary focaccia
When trying something for the first time, it’s always a good idea to start simply. First cab off the rank is this classic olive-and-rosemary focaccia – a variety you’ve no doubt seen and tried before. Making this beauty isn’t a tall order – it just requires a little patience. You’re going to need the basics – flour, instant dried yeast, salt, rosemary, olives, water and some good ol’ olive oil. Have you got the need? The need to knead? You better, as you’ll be limbering up your hands and wrists to knead the dough in order for it to rise. We suggest eating this focaccia the same day it’s cooked, but that shouldn’t be an issue – you’ll have a hard time keeping your hands off it once you’ve had a taste.
Image: SBS Food
Did you know that focaccia is basically the precursor to pizza? It’s true! The flatbread boasts a long history of feeding the masses, so why not have a crack at mixing the two? Don’t get it twisted – this is definitely not pizza, especially not the ultra-thin-crust kind you’re used to. Before we get ahead of ourselves, know that this focaccia recipe requires no kneading (sweet relief for our creaky fingers) and can be measured out to be thick and fluffy or thin and crispy – it’s up to you! This recipe helps blur the lines between the two kinds of flatbread, especially if you really want to go bananas with the toppings. Just be wary of lathering on wet ingredients before the dough is par-baked – no one wants to eat a soggy focaccia, no matter how much pepperoni is on it.
Image: Bon Apetit
No knead garlic focaccia
Here is another no-knead recipe that’ll have you in focaccia land in no time. If you like garlic bread, you’ll love this. If you don’t like garlic bread, then you’ve probably got friends that do – so this is still a good recipe to have in your back pocket (or wherever you keep your belongings, you vampire). This recipe incorporates garlic in two different ways – there’s roasted garlic inside and garlic butter brushed all over the top. Although this recipe cuts out the pesky kneading, be prepared to set aside a chunk of time (anywhere between eight and 24 hours) for the dough to rise – it’s not always essential, but once you’re in the rhythm of focaccia making you’ll notice how a longer proving time will generate more flavour.
Image: Serious Eats
Herb, caramelised onion and fennel breakfast focaccia
Rise and shine – it’s brekkie focaccia time! Yes, focaccia is an all-day food, especially if you’re sneaking back to enjoy a slice every couple of hours. This recipe is perfect for early birds that want to swap out the sourdough or if you’ve got the urge to host an Italian-themed brunch (bellinis also originated in Italy, fun fact). You’ll be essentially making the focaccia the same way you would as recipe number one, but you’ll be adding caramelised onion and fennel to the dough before baking, then adding eggs about 15 minutes in. Once it’s ready, add some prosciutto to your plate and marvel at how your breakfast game has improved overnight.
Image: For The Love of Lasagna
Sweet focaccia with figs, plums and hazelnuts
We’ve loaded you up with plenty of savoury options so far, but focaccia is versatile enough to cater to sweet cravings as well. How in the world do you make focaccia a dessert? Well, the answer is deceptively simple – it starts early by working sugar into the dough from the outset. Once it’s baked, it’s then coated in a fine sprinkle of cinnamon sugar instead of your usual dusting of salt. Finally, figs and plums make for a subtle and sweet topping (the juices caramelise slightly while baking), while hazelnuts add an extra crunch as well. When everyone is zigging with savoury focaccias, you can buck the trend with a tasty zag – dessert focaccia! Your friends will never see it coming.
Image: NYTimes Cooking
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