I really love bread, and my favorite bread is focaccia. I’ve been messing around with my basic foccacia recipe for some time now, and I really like how this fresh herb focaccia turned out. It’s a long recipe to make (you start making the biga the night before), but it’s a delicious one.
I fell in love with focaccia when I was studying abroad in Florence. I would see all these amazing focaccia breads with every topping imaginable through the windows of bakeries, lunch shops, and groceries around Florence. There was focaccia with roasted tomato’s, prociutto, veggies, and all types of cheese, and they were all so beautiful.
The recipe I originally based mine off of was Nancy Silverton’s (the Los Angeles queen of bread and the creator of La Brea Bakery and Pizzeria Mozza) but it has now morphed into its own thing.
How to make focaccia:
It’s all starts with the biga. The biga is the starter for the dough. You combine 1/16 tsp of active dry yeast and warm water (about 105 degrees is perfect) and a little bit of flour and let it ferment overnight (12-24 hours). The next day you add in your remaining yeast, flour, and olive oil. Mix it until it’s well kneaded and has developed a good amount of gluten. Then let it rise until it’s doubled in size. Stretch the dough and then let it rise again. Then you move it to a pan or pans covered in olive oil, let it rise again, and you topping and let it rise one final time. Bake, and then you have your delicious focaccia.
This is herb focaccia, but you can top it with anything, tomatoes, olives, asparagus, anything that strikes your fancy.