Focaccia - Fool-proof & No-Knead
Bread made this way is chewy and delightful but to get the wonderful flavor of an Italian loaf you need Italian 00 flour. It is now readily available online if you cannot find it in local stores.
Also readily available online if you cannot find it locally is instant yeast by the pound. It is by far the cheapest way to buy yeast and it lasts over a year in the fridge.
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- 600 g
- bread flour, best with italian 00 flour
- 12 g
- instant yeast
- 12 g
- 510 g
- water, preferably filtered
- optional additions such as fresh or dried herbs, olive oil, olives, cheese, etc.
1This recipe is based on "baker's percentages" which are based on the weight of the other ingredients in relationship to the weight of the flour. This recipe is 100% flour, 2% yeast, 2% salt and 85% water.
The equipment needed for assembling the bread dough includes a kitchen scale, two bowls (one small, one large), and a metal/rigid spoon for stirring the dough.
7At each 45 minute interval, stir and stretch the dough to further develop gluten, distribute food for the yeast to continue to work, and to break any large bubbles. About 20 to 30 strokes of the spoon, stretching and folding the dough on itself. The dough will slowly develop a consistency that seems like a cross between melted marshmallows and chewing gum.
8You may have noticed that the dough in the previous step seems to have developed large dark spots. That is because after the first rest of this dough I added rosemary and chopped oil-cured olives. Such additions are optional and may be incorporated in the dough as here or sprinkled on top of the dough when it has been shaped for baking.
9After the last 45-minute rest and stir down, flop the dough out onto a baking sheet that has either been well-buttered or lined with parchment paper as here. Use VERY WET hands to spread the dough until it it about 3/4 to 1 inch thick across the pan.
At this point, add any topping you wish to have stick to the bread. Dried or fresh herbs, sesame seeds, or freshly grated cheese are particularly good.
To have a golden crust, top as in the picture with olive oil, in this case drizzled and spread with oiled hands.
Finally, using a finger or the handle of a knife, dimple the dough in an all-over grid with about an inch between the dimples.