No Knead Focaccia Bread
Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread similar in style and texture to pizza dough that is usually served as an antipasto, appetizer, table bread, or snack. There are many versions but the most famous is focaccia di Genova. This recipe is closest to the latter. It requires no kneading or stretching and results in a crisp, olive oil-scented crust and a puffy, moist, crumb with just the right amount of tender chew It’s the easiest bread you can imagine making. All it takes is a bit of time as it rests overnight and then again for another two hours or so before baking. It is worth all the planning for because Its basically no effort with a fabulous result.
I chose a no knead recipe as my standing mixer dough hook attachment isnt working at its fullest potential right now and I really have to be in the mood to knead by hand for 10 minutes or longer (that’s called pure laziness btw). So I went on a search for a truly easy no knead recipe that yields the best texture with barely touching the dough. My two favourite recipes are from AlexandraCooks.com and Seriouseats.com. I often turn to those two sites for advice and also for guidance and flavour inspiration. This time I chose Alexandra’s recipe over Kenji’s for one reason only. I love that Alexandra’s recipe calls for the bread to sit overnight in the refrigerator instead of on the counter. For some reason the out of sight out of mind I prefer - and in the fridge was the direction I went with. When it comes to the pan the recipe I favoured more calls for baking the focaccia in pie plates/pans. I used one baking pan and one skillet and the difference was that the one in the skillet baked up crispier and I much preferred it in the skillet. So if you have two skillets I recommend using them for this focaccia. We inhaled both but you can also freeze one while you enjoy the other. Like I said though ours didn’t last long at all.
The choice in flour and olive oil is essential for the preparation of this recipe. A good quality flour is a must and as for the choice of olive oil, it obviously needs to be very fragrant, fruity and first cold pressed extra virgin. I chose an olive oil that is just that. Kalikori Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes directly from an olive grove of vatsikes olive trees in the hills near Kalethéa, in the Kalamata region of Greece. It’s a grove on family land owned, nurtured and harvested by the Ligris family since the first grove was planted in 1950. The quality of Kalikori is very evident – from the smell, the feel and of course the taste. You may also notice a slight peppery finish to the oil. This comes from the first pressing of the olives and also gives it a distinct green colour. Kalikori wants to make sure that their product is of the highest quality and as a result each bottle comes with a best before date.
This recipe is easy to make, and tastes so rich and wonderful with the addition of fresh rosemary, olive oil and flaked sea salt…but also great loaded with figs, caramelized onions and goat cheese too! Plain is also delicious. This focaccia is perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. It has a moist but airy crumb sandwiched between thin but ultra-crunchy top and bottom crusts, thanks to a generous amount of olive oil in the pan and on top of the dough. If you haven’t tried making focaccia or want to try a very simple recipe for focaccia this is definitely the one for you. You will love it and you can dress it with any topping you like or no topping at all. Have fun coming up with flavour combos!
I have partnered up with Kalikori Olive Oil to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
Makes Two 9-inch round focaccia or one 9x13
- 4 cups (512 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water, made by combining ½ cup boiling water with 1½ cups cold water
- butter or olive oil for greasing
- 4 tablespoons Kalikori Olive Oil, divided plus more for drizzling when serving
- flaky sea salt
2 Topping Options
For the olive and rosemary (divide ingredients between two pans)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary divided
- 10-15 pitted and olives of your choosing
For the Fig, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese + Rosemary (divide ingredients between two pans)
- 10 or so fresh figs, sliced
- ½ an onion, caramelized (Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Thinly slice the onion and place them into the pan with salt, pepper, rosemary and generous pinch of sugar. Let them cook and caramelize on low heat until fragrant, golden and translucent)
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- ½ a tablespoon fresh rosemary
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Add the water and then mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball *. Pour a little oil over dough and use hands to gently roll it in the bowl to fully coat it. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator immediately for at least 12 hours and up to 24.
- Grease two 8 or 9-inch pie plates or skillets with butter or olive oil and then line the bottom with parchment paper as well especially if you are using a skillet. Pour a tablespoon of oil into the center of each panand a little on your hands. Lightly punch down dough to deflate and gently work it into a rough ball. Use a dough cutter or knife to split the dough into two equal pieces. Place one piece into one of the prepared pans. Roll the dough ball in the oil to coat it all over, forming a rough ball. Repeat with the remaining dough mass. Let the dough balls rest for 2 to 4 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen until they have risen to fill the pie plates or skillets.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Pour another tablespoon of oil over each round of dough. Rub your fingers lightly in the oil to coat, then use them to press straight down to create deep dimples into the dough. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt all over and along with any toppings you may want to add. If using toppings make sure to press them into the dough slightly.
- Transfer the pans to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden and crisp underneath. Remove the pans from the oven and transfer to cooling racks. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan, cutting and serving
* Focaccia Trouble Shooting
The key with any yeasted bread is patience. The temperature and humidity in a room can directly determine how long the rise time will be. The recipe calls for 2-4 hours of rising time but if it’s rising in a cold dry spot it could take all day. Keeping that in mind choose the warmest spot in the house to let the dough rise - and wrap with a damp towel over the bowl if your house or area is particularly dry. I like to keep mine over or in a slightly warm oven - repeat slightly warm not even remotely hot. And wrapped in a damp towel if I’m finding it difficult to get a warm spot in my kitchen and not getting a rise out of the dough.
The measurements here are also in cups. I do most of my recipes like that as I have found that most of you like myself (before I started baking as much) use cup measurements not by weight. It’s also a pretty standard way of measuring things in North America. When it comes to breads and baked goods ideally weighing out all the ingredients is the more accurate way to go and will yield the most consistent results but most home bakers don’t own a scale so my recipes are geared towards simple recipes that don’t require one. So if you find that your dough isn’t quite as sticky as it should be feel free to add a more lukewarm water to the dough - 1 tbsp at a time as needed.
This recipe calls for making it in two 9 inch baking pans or skillets. 9 inch pie dishes or cake pans can also be used. A 9 inch spring form pan can also be use but I strongly recommend lining it with parchment paper and baking it on a sheetpan as the olive oil will leak through it. You can also make this recipe in a 9x13 pan as well just do not separate the dough.