This is a soft, fragrant focaccia full of flavor. You only need one afternoon to make it and with a few ingredients for a truly delicious result.
It’s like eating a cloud of warmth and goodness. Every time I make this focaccia, I imagine it coming out of the hot oven, filling the whole kitchen with the aroma of rosemary and hot focaccia. It’s perfect with an Italian aperitif before dinner, for children to snack on, or simply as it is.
There are endless recipes for focaccia, one better than the other, but this has an important feature; to make it, you need nothing more than a bowl and a pan. This focaccia is kneaded with the hands, so it’s straightforward and easy to make.
The simple ingredients
I’d suggest using bread flour (over all-purpose flour) as with a higher protein content, it will help to make a soft focaccia. Choose the best extra virgin olive oil because it’s essential for the focaccia flavor. Also, it’s better to use fresh rosemary. You can use dried in a pinch. Don’t forget the salt flakes to give this focaccia a unique finish.
You need to use your hands for this recipe. There are no challenges, but there are essential steps. To give softness to this focaccia, you need to make folds to oxygenate the dough so that gluten mesh is incorporated with as much air as possible.
First of all: moisten your fingers to work the dough, making it easier to knead.
- Take a flap of the dough, lift it and bring it back to the other side.
- Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this another 5-6 times.
- 2½ cups of bread flour (400g)
- 1¼ cups of water (300g)
- 1 tsp of sugar or honey (10g)
- 1 tsp of dry yeast (10g)
- 2 tbsp oil + additional for garnish (20g + to taste)
- Salt flakes to taste
- Fresh or dry rosemary
- In a large bowl, add the water with the yeast to the flour;
- Use your hands to mix until the water is absorbed. The dough will be very sticky and very soft;
- Cover the bowl with cellophane or a lid and let stand for 10-15 minutes at room temperature;
- Dissolve the salt in a tablespoon of lukewarm water; then add it to the dough;
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap once again and let stand for 10-15 minutes;
- Add the oil little by little and let it penetrate the dough while working the dough with your hands. When the oil is absorbed, cover it with plastic wrap and let stand for 10-15 minutes;
- Now it's time to oxygenate the dough by making folds: take a flap of the dough, lift it and roll it back to the other side. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this process another three times. Moisten your fingers to work the dough.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered in plastic wrap. After, repeat folding the dough four more times, but let the dough rest for another half an hour;
- Take a pan and oil it generously;
- Place the dough in the pan and stretch it slightly. Let it rest for another hour, covered in plastic wrap;
- To prepare the brine, combine 2 tbsp of water with 2 tbsp of oil in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, fresh rosemary cut into small pieces, and ground pepper. Blend them well (use an emulsion blender if you have one);
- Spread out the dough with your hands. If the dough shrinks back, let it rest a little more. Pour the brine on the dough and use your fingers to massage it into the dough;
- Here's the moment: you should feel the bubbles under your fingers;
- Garnish it with salt flakes and fresh rosemary;
- Bake the focaccia in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes;
- Check the browning process; your focaccia should be crispy outside and deliciously fluffy like a cloud inside. Let it cool on a rack.
What can you do with this focaccia?
Offer your rosemary focaccia to your guests before dinner as an Italian aperitif, or accompany it with freshly cut ham.
Of course, you can add some toppings to make your focaccia just the way you want it, for example, if you stuff it with tiny slices of mortadella you will have the best combination.
Cut it into squares and eat it instead of bread.
Eat it whenever you want. It’s irresistible and so delicious. If you’re going to keep it for a long time, let it cool completely. Then put it in a freezer bag and freeze it. Just heat it in your microwave or oven for an even fresher taste. Enjoy!