Focaccia Genovese

focaccia genoveseTo make typically Italian Focaccia Genovese, you will need some typically Italian, Tipo 00 flour. Tipo ’00’ is Italy’s go-to flour for quick breads like pizza and focaccia, for light cakes, biscotti and gnocchi. In some regions of Italy, it is also used as is, or mixed with semolina durum wheat flour to make egg pasta. We use these Italian flours all the time and have it for you to by at our online store at Pasta Nostra USA.

There is quite a bit of confusion over what flour is what and one of the reasons for this is that Italian flour is graded by color, also referred to as ‘extraction rate’. This basically means that flour graded ’00’ is ground very fine and is therefore white, whereas 04 is more like whole meal flour. As a comparison, other countries grade flour by both color and gluten content. These flours typically have names like ‘strong’, ‘plain’ and ‘all purpose’.

Focaccia Genovese is probably the easiest bread that you will ever make. It is best served fresh and straight from the oven. These ancient types of breads are a meal in themselves and this one will have your guest coming back for more …. and more! So make a little extra 🙂

Typical Italian Focaccia Genovese

For the dough:

  • 13 ½ fluid oz tepid water (for best results, use bottled, natural spring water)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons dried yeast
  • 1 ½ fluid oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups Tipo ’00’

To finish

  • 100 mls extra virgin olive oil
  • Rosemary and or mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ – 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt

For the dough:

  1. Combine the water, salt and olive oil until the salt is dissolved. Add this the the mixing bowl first.
  2. Now add ½ of the flour to the mixture and mix until combined.
  3. Add the yeast and mix for up to 3 minutes until combined well.
  4. Now add the rest of the flour and mix until you have a soft, floppy, homogeneous dough.
  5. Remove the dough onto a clean and very lightly floured surface and quickly form into a smooth-topped ball which will relax and begin to spread – which is perfectly O.K..

For the next step:

  1. You you need an everyday, shallow oven tray, the sort used for placing under the broiler, or 2 8″ baking pans.
  2. Pour half of the extra virgin olive oil in the center of the tray. Place the dough in the center of the oil brushing some of it over the top of the dough.
  3. Using the tips of your fingers, begin to gently push and spread the dough towards the edges of the tray until the tray is covered. Make sure that there is oil under the dough as you go. Brush more olive oil on the top if the dough sticks to your fingers. Yes, it is a bit oily but it’s supposed to be like that.
  4. Carefully sprinkle the top evenly with the coarse sea salt, chopped garlic and herbs.
  5. Now set the dough aside to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature (approximately 70 – 86 F).
  6. Preheat the oven at 180C/360F and place your focaccia in the centre, baking for 40 minutes.
  7. When the bread is lightly browned, remove from the oven and allow it to cool a little in the baking dish before removing and serving.
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About thebigdreamfactory

My name is Susie Evans-Ardovini and I created The Big Dream Factory. I was born in the UK and have been a chef and restauranteur for over 30 years. During this time I have also lived in France and Italy where I visited many beautiful places and met many wonderful people. I am particularly impressed with the Italian way of life and their approach to food. Many families work extremely hard to grow and produce their own salumi, cheese, wine and olive oil which means that they have a wealth of knowledge and experience, most of which has been handed down through countless generations. It is no different in the kitchen. Nearly all foods served at an Italian table have been gathered from someones garden or field, and is then served alongside homemade, pasta, gnocchi, and countless dishes that could not be recounted in this tiny space since each family's knowledge is unique ... well, you can only imagine. I have walked Rome, climbed to the top of the Vatican, seen Milan, Venice, the Cinque Terre, climbed mountains, walked The Path of the Gods, wandered the great city of Napoli, lived on the little Island of Ponza and gathered a pile of friends, family and photographs as well as invalueable experience along the way. I became a new immigrant to the U.S.A on December 15th, 2013. With the support of many great friends and a passion (bordering on obsession), I am here in search of the American Dream and to bring you the natural flavours and vibrant colours of Italy. All my pasta, gnocchi and biscotti are made by hand just as I saw Italians do in homes and good restaurants all over Italy, every day and sometimes, twice a day. I hope you enjoy my creations and invite you to share your comments, photographs and recipes with me on Facebook or Twitter. In return I of course, will share beautiful Italy with you.

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