Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

Focaccia is one of my favorite breads. I love it as a snacking bread or appetizer dipped in olive oil like in your favorite Italian restaurant. You can also eat it like bread sticks dipped in marinara (spaghetti sauce). When we lived in Minnesota, there was a restaurant in the area that made terrific Italian sandwiches on focaccia, splitting a wedge of it open, stuffing the fillings inside. I’ve never had focaccia that I didn’t like.

Use this coupon code to get a free focaccia mix! Enter “HERB” at checkout.

Get more coupons for free products here!

You can make focaccia from scratch, with a bread mix, or with a focaccia mix.  Regardless, it’s easier than you might think. This is about as easy as it gets for some good homemade focaccia.  It doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s a great project to tackle with the kids.

Focaccia Sandwich

What you’ll need:

Of course the easiest way to make focaccia is with a focaccia bread mix but any bread mix will do.  You can also use your favorite recipe though a two-loaf recipe will fill two pans. Use either a 15-inch round pizza pan or an 11×17-inch baking pan. A crisper pan, one with holes in the bottom to bake the bottom as well as the top, is perfect. You’ll also need some good olive oil and some Italian spices.

Mix the bread dough according to package directions or according to the recipe.  We used our bread machine for convenience but you can mix the dough by hand or with your stand-type mixer.  (If you use your bread machine, be sure to set the machine to the “dough” setting.)   After mixing, place the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise until doubled–for most recipes, 45 to 60 minutes. (If you use one of our focaccia mixes, you won’t have to let the bread rise in the bowl.)

While the dough is rising, mix together the following ingredients for a topping:

2-3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the rounded dough ball on your greased baking sheet.  Press the dough across the bottom of the pan until it touches the edges.  Cover the dough and let rise again.

Once risen, make 1/2-inch deep indentations in the dough with your fingers one to two inches apart.  Pour the oil and spice mixture over the bread.  With the back of a spoon or with a pastry brush, spread the oil mixture around until all of the dough has a shiny coating of oil. (Your prepared dough should look something like the picture.)

Immediately place the bread in the oven.  Bake the bread for 15 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Remove the bread to a wire rack to cool for ten minutes before serving warm.  Makes ten to twelve servings.

To Top Your Focaccia

You can use your focaccia as a pizza crust or vary the toppings or spices to taste.  Try onions, mushrooms, or spinach.

When your bread is ready to go in the oven, whether you use a mix or a recipe, add your toppings except for the cheese.  Here is how:

Let the bread rise according to directions.  Dimple the bread.

Add the toppings.  Unless you want to make a pizza, keep them light.  A quarter inch of toppings or less will do.  Do not add the cheese at this time.

Brush the focaccia and toppings with the herb and olive oil mixture.

Bake the focaccia.

Just before the focaccia is done, sprinkle it with the desired cheese and put it back into the oven for the cheese to melt.

Serve the focaccia hot.

Toppings will increase bake times.  With a thin layer of toppings, you will only need to add two or three minutes.  It takes about two minutes for a sprinkling of cheese to melt.

For a Tomato and Parmesan Focaccia:

We used a mandoline slicer to thinly slice three medium tomatoes.  Spread those slices evenly across the focaccia when it is ready to go in the oven.

Brush the focaccia and tomatoes with the herb and oil mixture.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of basil over the tomatoes and bake.

Just before the baking is complete, remove the focaccia from the oven and sprinkle it with parmesan.

Return the focaccia to the oven to finish baking and to let the cheese melt.

For a New Potato and Onion Focaccia:

We used a mandoline slicer to thinly slice three small red potatoes.  Thinly slice one-half of a sweet onion.   Spread the tomato and onion slices evenly across the focaccia when it is ready to go in the oven.

Brush the focaccia and toppings with the herb and oil mixture.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of rosemary (optional) over the tomatoes and bake.

Just before the baking is complete, remove the focaccia from the oven and sprinkle it with parmesan.

Return the focaccia to the oven to finish baking and to let the cheese melt.

For a roasted garlic, spinach and parmesan focaccia (pictured at the top):

Spread fresh spinach leaves thinly but evenly across the focaccia when it is ready to go in the oven.  Chop two large cloves of garlic and spread them on the spinach.

Brush the focaccia and toppings with the herb and oil mixture.

Bake as directed.

Just before the baking is complete, remove the focaccia from the oven and sprinkle it with parmesan.

Return the focaccia to the oven to finish baking and to let the cheese melt.

 

About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of “How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking” available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.